16 Jan 2011

NASA temperature maps

Global surface temperatures in 2010 were 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 Celsius) above the 20th century average, tying the record set in 2005, says the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. See here. But these two maps I thought were good at telling the story...

nasa global warming maps image

Images: NASA

NASA has just published two world maps showing temperature anomalies in the decades starting in 1970 and 2000. Looking at those maps, it's pretty obvious that the planet is warming, especially closer to the poles. The average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. 1.4 degrees might seem small but this is not your living room, it is the whole planet. The warming is also not equally distributed, so some areas might see little of it while others can see increases of many degrees.

While news from the US is generally bad - Obama now seems to have little powers to atckle climate change it was at least good to read that the Chinese government will impose binding emission targets on its regions as part of its efforts to meet 2020 national carbon intensity goals (see here). China is also spending 1/6 what the US does on its military, but is spending twice as much as the US on clean energy technology (see here).

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