Heating up

In the ‘Climate change’ letter to the editor, Robin Browne states there has been no increases in the world’s temperature for 18 years.

In the ‘Climate change’ letter to the editor (The NEWS, Sept. 18), Robin Browne states that the IPCC, NOAA and NASA all confirm there has been no increases in the world’s temperature for 18 years.

I took a few minutes to research this and found the following that doesn’t seem to agree. I understand these to be measured temperatures, not computer projections, as claimed by Browne. Maybe he/she should check with folks in California (with the bulk of the state suffering extreme and exceptional drought), Texas, Oregon and elsewhere and ask if they notice any climate change. It’s easy to deny living here.

“The ranks of the warmest years humans have recorded have been filling up with recent entries, driven by the unrelenting heating of the planet caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Each of the past three decades have been warmer than any other decade since 1850, according to the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, and 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century.

The 2013 study, the fifth major assessment from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), projects a bleak future of rising sea levels, more intense and frequent heat waves, destructive droughts and floods, as well as more acidic oceans that will be less capable of supporting marine life. In arriving at its conclusions, the group combed through 9,200 scientific publications, two-thirds of which were published after 2007, and considered the input from nearly 55,000 comments drawn from 1,089 reviewers from 52 countries. A majority of the scientists involved in the latest report were new to the IPCC process.

The report found that each of the past three decades has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850, and the period from 1983-2012 was “likely” the warmest 30-year period of the past 1,400 years in the northern hemisphere. The report states with unprecedented confidence — at least 95 percent certainty — that humans have “been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” That is an increase in certainty from 2007’s report, in which scientists said there was at least 90 percent confidence in this conclusion.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that June 2014 was the globe’s warmest in 134 years of records following its report that May was also the hottest on record. These reports are feeding anticipation that 2014 could become the warmest year on record.  All of the past five Junes have ranked among the top 10 warmest on record, according to the report. June 2014 was the 38th consecutive June and 352nd straight month of above average temperature. The June heat was felt across the globe, with record warmth being felt in Greenland, northern South America, eastern and central Africa and southeast Asia. New Zealand also recorded its warmest June since records began in 1909. The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was record high for the month, at 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), topping the previous record set in 1998. The global land surface temperature was 0.99°C (1.78°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), the second highest on record for August, behind 1998. For the ocean, the August global sea surface temperature was 0.65°C (1.17°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F). This record high departure from average not only beats the previous August record set in 2005 by 0.08°C (0.14°F), but also beats the previous all-time record set just two months ago in June 2014 by 0.03°C (0.05°F). The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for the June–August period was also record high for this period, at 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), beating the previous record set in 1998.

Are you reading this George?

John Seeland

Nanoose Bay