NOAA's Conclusive Report: 2000s Were Hottest Decade on Record

By Andrew Moseman | July 28, 2010 4:49 pm

Global_warmingThe 2000s, the “aughts”—whatever you want to call the first decade of the 21st century, you can also call it the warmest 10 years on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its annual “State of the Climate” report, and after sampling 37 climate indicators including the biggies like sea surface temperature, glacier cover, and sea level, they came to that conclusion.

The NOAA report—published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society—is different from other climate publications, because it’s based on observed data, not computer models, making it the “climate system’s annual scorecard,” the authors wrote… “It’s telling us what’s going on in the real world, rather than the imaginary world,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research [National Geographic].

While one climate group trumpets its mountain of climate data, the scientists at the University of East Anglia are just climbing out from the scandal that broke out over theirs. This month another investigation cleared the Climate Research Unit of scientific misconduct or dishonesty, without condoning the emails’ tone or the unit’s handling of the controversy.

To try to improve its bruised public image, and appease climate skeptics’ calls to see the data, the university is working on way to get the unit’s data online and openly accessible.

It will not be as simple as putting the numbers online, as the data sets are frequently updated, and the steps leading to updates will also be made clear [New Scientist].

But, in a Q&A with New Scientist, former CRU director Phil Jones and East Anglia’s Trevor Davies argue that they shouldn’t have to bend over backward to all the freedom of information requests made for their data or correspondences. Says Davies:

The FOI act is clearly laudable. But we also believe there is an argument for confidentiality. The trouble is, that is interpreted by some as being somehow sinister, when it clearly is not in the vast majority of cases.

US law accepts that emails between colleagues when they’re working on a paper and around peer review should not be disclosable. That came about because of what was described as a potentially chilling effect on research if every single email exchange was released [New Scientist].

Related Content:
DISCOVER: It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here: The Big Battle Over Climate Science
80beats: Climategate Inquiry: No Scientific Misconduct from “Squeaky Clean” Researchers
80beats: 5 Ways to Fix the IPCC, Gatekeeper of Climate Science
The Intersection: How the Global Warming Story Changed, Disastrously, Due to “ClimateGate”

Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • m

    the problem is i dont see actual “air temperature” as being included in their study as one of the “biggies”.

    In fact, the 2000’s, on average, were the coldest , and wetest decade here in Canada.

    The “hottest” decade still remains the 1970’s with the 1950’s a very close second.

    This just tells me that the climate gate maestros have gotten better at manipulating their data.

  • Andrew Moseman

    @m the National Geographic article linked above [] shares the 10 most important of the 37 indicators in the study. Air temperature in the lower atmosphere, temperature over land, and temperature over the oceans are in there.

  • Neel Parikh


    Remember that the climate is an extremely complex system. Even though the average global temperature might be rising, localized areas will experience all sorts of anomalous conditions, which include unusual cold. The term “global warming” can be a bit of a misnomer. That’s why its better to think of it as climate change (overall, longterm change from what is normal) instead.

    For instance, melting glaciers create large flows of fresh water which is less dense than salt water. In some areas, like the northern parts of the gulf stream, this can force some of the warmer salt water down and decrease temperatures for the adjacent atlantic coastline. So even though a particular area might be unusually cold, the root cause is an overall warming.

  • T Black

    Same old summer photo-shopped pictures!

    More Glo-Bull-Ist BS to extract Fraud Carbon Tax money, from what Glo-Bull-Ists think, are the dumbed down masses!

    “It’s the sun stupid”, stick your Glo-Bull-Ist warming where the sun don’t shine!

    Undeniable? Thats like saying unquestionable! What a crock of poop! “When has true Science or real Scientists ever said, “unquestionable or undeniable”?

  • Jones

    “Hottest decade on record” would mean more if we had a few more decades recorded and if the world was 6,000 years old.

  • scott

    warming or not, it’s still a lot of dirty pollution that is destroying ecosystems in other ways, so all you ego fat heads quit the fight over who’s right when it comes to air temp data and everyone get on the path to clean this garbage heap up.


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