Monday, January 07, 2008

global warming, and why during 2007 and 2008 we're catching a break.

Global temperature for 2008 is expected to be 0.37 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, the coolest year since 2000, when the value was 0.24 °C.

For 2008, the development of a strong La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean will limit the warming trend of the global climate. During La Niña, cold waters upwell to cool large areas of the ocean and land surface temperatures. The current La Niña event will weaken only slowly through 2008, disappearing by the end of the year.

These cyclical influences can mask underlying warming trends. The fact that 2008 is forecast to be cooler than any of the last seven years (and that 2007 did not break the record warmth set on 1998) does not mean that global warming has gone away. What matters is the underlying rate of warming - the period 2001-2007 with an average of 0.44 °C above the 1961-90 average was 0.21 °C warmer than corresponding values for the period 1991-2000."

It is most unlikely that 2008 will be as warm as or warmer than the current warmest year of 1998, which was 0.52 °C above the long-term 1961-1990 average because it was dominated by an extreme El Niño.

The current La Niña event is now the strongest since 1999-2000. The lag between La Niña and the full global surface temperature response means that the cooling effect of La Niña is expected to be a little greater in 2008 than it was during 2007.

...i liken the united states' position on refusal to adopt binding emission targets to a supertanker at sea. if you want to slow the thing down, it's a good idea to start braking early, except they don't seem to think so, and that by doing nothing now is somehow a better idea (because of the economy) er, last time i checked, it wasn't looking that great. sub-prime melt-down, unemployment rising, housing market slump, fear of recession...

like it's their planet, and we have somewhere else to go!

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