2000s: hottest decade on record; dangerous blizzard pounds Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on December 09, 2009

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The end of the decade is upon us, and this decade was the warmest decade on record, according to NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The decade of the 2000s was 0.17°C (0.31°F) warmer than the 1990s, according to NOAA. The "official" scientific assessments on climate change, the IPCC reports, have been predicting that Earth's temperature rise should average about 0.19°C per decade, due to human-caused global warming. Thus, the warming over the past decade is about 10% below predictions--well within the uncertainties that natural variation in the climate can bring. Of course, one can look at shorter time periods and say that no warming is occurring. The hottest year on record globally was 1998, according to the UK's HadCRUT3 data set, and was 2005, according to the data sets maintained by NASA and NOAA. It is apparent from the plot of global temperature anomalies (Figure 1) that the global temperature rise has flattened out since 2005. One can correctly say that global temperatures have not increased since 2005. However, climate is measured on time scales of decades, so it is incorrect to say that the climate has not warmed since 2005. It is meaningless to any statement about climate on any time scale less than ten years. Thirty years is better, since the atmosphere has natural multi-decadal oscillations, and the solar cycle of 11 years is also important. Global average temperature oscillates 0.1°C between the maximum and minimum of the solar cycle, and we are currently in an unusually long minimum.


Figure 1. Change in global surface temperature anomaly as computed by NOAA (NCDC Dataset), NASA (GISS data set) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 data set). Uncertainty in the HadCRUT3 data is shown in gray. Image credit: WMO.

Mass front-page climate change editorial published in 45 countries
An unprecedented joint editorial urging action on climate change appeared in 56 newspapers in 45 countries yesterday. Many of the papers carried the editorial on the front page. The editorial began: "Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.". According to Editor & Publisher, the editorial was published in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by the UK newspaper, The Guardian, in conjunction with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. A number of U.S. papers supported the project and agreed with everything in the editorial, but only one--the Miami Herald--was brave enough to publish it.

Posts on the hacked climate scientists' emails
If you haven't read my posts on the hacked email affair, my attitude on the matter can best be summed up by a highly amusing political cartoon by Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson. While an investigation is needed into whether the scientific data involved was properly withheld from other scientists, there is nothing in the hacked emails that affects the validity of any of the published peer-reviewed science on climate change. "Climategate" is a manufactured scandal designed to take attention away from the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is responsible for most of the observed warming in recent decades, and that this warming will increase dramatically in coming decades. My posts on the affair:

Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. Check out his blog over the next two weeks to hear an insider's view of what's going on.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
It's a bad day to be in Iowa, unless you happen to be a polar bear. I'll back up that startling claim with some hard data: at 4:35 am CST, Carroll, Iowa reported heavy snow, sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 48, visibility 350 yards, a temperature of 9°F, and a windchill of -17°F. The mighty storm responsible was centered over Lake Michigan this morning, and is bringing blizzard conditions to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. The storm has brought very high winds to large portion of the country. Sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 77 mph were reported in Ruidiso, New Mexico yesterday afternoon, and hurricane-force wind gusts were reported in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas yesterday. A peak gust of 105 mph was reported in Texas' Guadeloupe Mountains. Heavy rain from the storm has also brought localized flooding to California, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 7.8 SSW 30.4
JACOB LAKE 24.0
WILLIAMS 0.4 SW 20.0
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM 18.0

...CALIFORNIA...
KIRKWOOD SKI AREA 48.0
ALPINE MEADOWS 45.0
SODA SPRINGS 40.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 37.0
NORTHSTAR 36.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 8 SSW 31.0
MAMMOTH LAKES 14.0

...COLORADO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS 9.1 NNW 33.0
CARBONDALE 8.2 S 24.8
CRESTED BUTTE 6.2 N 24.5
DURANGO 24.0
BAYFIELD 7 N 23.5
DOLORES 22 NE 23.0
GREELEY 2.3 SE 22.0
PAGOSA SPRINGS 3 SE 22.0

...IDAHO...
WESTON 4.0
POCATELLO AIRPORT 3.7
BOISE 6.7 SE 3.5

...KANSAS...
MARYSVILLE 14.0
LINCOLN 5 NE 12.0
CONCORDIA 5 SSE 11.0
HAYS 13 WNW 9.0
SALINA 8.0
ABILENE 5 SSW 7.0
MANHATTAN 7.0

...NEBRASKA...
TECUMSEH 13.5
ORD 12.0
OMAHA 3 N 8.6
KEARNEY 8.0
INDIANOLA 6.0

...NEW MEXICO...
LAS VEGAS 8.4 NW 8.0
SANTA FE 3.3 NE 5.5
TAOS PUEBLO 2.8 NW 5.2
GALLUP 8.1 NNW 4.8

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 34.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
RENO 7.1 N 13.7
SUN VALLEY 0.9 N 10.5

...SOUTH DAKOTA...
SIOUX FALLS 6.0

...UTAH...
VERDUE 8 WNW 25.0
SPRINGDELL 23.0
ORDERVILLE 19.0
SPRINGVILLE 10.0

...WYOMING...
SAND LAKE 11.0
DIVIDE PEAK 9.0
LARAMIE 27.3 WSW 6.0
CHEYENNE 26.7 NE 4.3

Next post
I'll have a new post Thursday; there's a lot going on.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Angels Camp. (Isolino)
Woke up this morning to snow. We don't get snow in Angels Camp very often. It made for some difficult driving.
Snow in Angels Camp.
Frost (thebige)
More frost on our car. This photo wasn't cropped or edited.
Frost

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Quoting pearlandaggie:


i'm sorry...i've tried to keep my mouth shut on this, but i can't believe that an American would possibly consider the world worse for our existence. i can think of no other place i'd rather live and raise my family.


Oh come now. I meant for better or worse as far as the state of our country. This country has its moments, you must admit. We certainly don't conduct ourselves like we should alot of the time. I wasn't inferring that we shouldn't be here. BTW, there are actually other countries in the world that are suitable for living and raising children and the citizens of many of those countries are in fact happy. Good Lord, the word twisting continues...settle down terminator.
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393 excellent...
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Ah Wee Wee MS SIR
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Florida is kind of on its own, it's flooded with Yankees from up north, evertime I watch news of hurricanes, I hear their accent from up north, Florida is in the south, but are they THE south like us... no.


Thanks goodness for that. lol
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Yeah man! Gulp, gulp, gulp, BURRRRRP!


LOL kumbayah!
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Thank you for saying the warmest "recorded"; many news sites are saying the warmest "ever", which we know to be incorrect. What, about 1700 years ago the average temperature was 10 degrees F warmer, Greenland was green, and the Vikings were colonizing it. Interestingly, the Inuit told the Vikings that the cold would return, but the Vikings did not learn how to live in the cold, and now there are just the Inuit...

Sorry...I just get so tired of everyone acting like this is the hottest it has ever been...
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Quoting pearlandaggie:


i'm sorry...i've tried to keep my mouth shut on this, but i can't believe that an American would possibly consider the world worse for our existence. i can think of no other place i'd rather live and raise my family.


I agree 100%. As much as I enjoy other countries and their people, and yes living there (wish I owned a 2nd home over there somewhere) I would NEVER give up my American citizenship and would NEVER permanently leave.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting atmoaggie:

In my limited experience, I would say that urban areas in S. Florida are a lot more like a mix of the north and the Caribbean than they are any place in the south. And, Virginia (sorry VABeachhurricane-guy) does not resemble the south at all to me.
Otherwise, I agree. For example, small town southern Missippi (said in their dialect) has no northern equal.


Florida is kind of on its own, it's flooded with Yankees from up north, evertime I watch news of hurricanes, I hear their accent from up north, Florida is in the south, but are they THE south like us... no.
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"Frog" is a derisive term for French...
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LMAO @ 332!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting presslord:
I'm pretty sure inserting a 'Frog' picture into a conversation about the French is not allowed...

I stared at it a while hoping it would be a blinking light...
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Quoting presslord:
I'm pretty sure inserting a 'Frog' picture into a conversation about the French is not allowed...


Frog, french, they both start with a F.
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Quoting tornadodude:


agreed,

want some Urge? (:


Yeah man! Gulp, gulp, gulp, BURRRRRP!
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Now that is insperation. So much gloom and doom with fowl weather and fowl air and you have given a valid reason to continue to press on!

If it starts to rain chickens, you are welcome outlaw whatever you think might be causing that.
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I'm pretty sure inserting a 'Frog' picture into a conversation about the French is not allowed...
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I guess I tend to avoid those areas, but I'm not sure. Even when I was traveling in rural Washington state this year I could've sworn I was in a small southern town. I even saw a few Confederate flags waiving. I've seen the same in small town NY, WI, MI, IA, etc.


Alright, we can recruit those guys!
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Quoting presslord:


not to my knowledge...but hope springs eternal...
Now that is insperation. So much gloom and doom with fowl weather and fowl air and you have given a valid reason to continue to press on!
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Yes, sorry. I wasn't doing that in chronological order.


no worries,

have an Urge
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


But we made it, for better or worse.


i'm sorry...i've tried to keep my mouth shut on this, but i can't believe that an American would possibly consider the world worse for our existence. i can think of no other place i'd rather live and raise my family.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting tornadodude:


I agree with you one hundred percent, but didnt we receive the statue before we helped them in WWII?


Yes, sorry. I wasn't doing that in chronological order.
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.

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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Understood but it still doesn't change the fact that we couldn't be the nation we are now without that HUGE obstacle to get past. Even with their help we barely made it. But we made it, for better or worse. They are a very progressive country that we could learn much from if we'd put aside all the hangups and propaganda induced hatred we have for them.


agreed,

want some Urge? (:
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The South is different CaneWarning. And small town Georgia is not like rural Wisconsin or Maine.

In my limited experience, I would say that urban areas in S. Florida are a lot more like a mix of the north and the Caribbean than they are any place in the south. And, Virginia (sorry VABeachhurricane-guy) does not resemble the south at all to me.
Otherwise, I agree. For example, small town southern Missippi (said in their dialect) has no northern equal.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The South is different CaneWarning. And small town Georgia is not like rural Wisconsin or Maine.


I guess I tend to avoid those areas, but I'm not sure. Even when I was traveling in rural Washington state this year I could've sworn I was in a small southern town. I even saw a few Confederate flags waiving. I've seen the same in small town NY, WI, MI, IA, etc.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I disagree with that. Rural areas in the south are like rural areas in the north, and urban areas in the south are like urban areas in the north.


in rural urban areas of the south there are cows, in rural urban areas of the north there are coffee shops
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Press, I just have to know! Has she ever been to a starbucks near you?


not to my knowledge...but hope springs eternal...
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Quoting presslord:
Carla Bruni may well be the hottest woman who ever lived...Viva la France!!!


I know you are old enough to remember Brigitte Bardot in "And God created Woman". It may have been around that time my opinion of the French began to change. LOL
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Quoting tornadodude:


I agree there, but France now is totally different than France back then...

but we are a totally different nation now as well


Understood but it still doesn't change the fact that we couldn't be the nation we are now without that HUGE obstacle to get past. Even with their help we barely made it. But we made it, for better or worse. They are a very progressive country that we could learn much from if we'd put aside all the hangups and propaganda induced hatred we have for them.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


You rock, don't care what Grothar says about you (j/k, I agree with him)!

Yeah - A climatologist who knows the big picture and can see beyond his own navel.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Isn't that the truth. They may try to become the country of Texas. LOL


again :P
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MercedesBenzCarLegs

hahahahahahaha!

;)
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Quoting presslord:
Carla Bruni may well be the hottest woman who ever lived...Viva la France!!!
Press, I just have to know! Has she ever been to a starbucks near you?
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Oh, whoops, see what happens when you leave for a minute and then just can't help yourself and check back in? I made a big boo-boo.

I'm so glad that our soldiers are resting respectfully in France.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Ohhhhhhh boy. Don't know that I ever saw someone step in $#!t while typing.
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Quoting presslord:
I'm gonna head over to the Flat Globe Shop...in my Humvee...they have a room in back where you can smoke stinky cigars...and throw darts at a giant picture of Al Gore...


LOL!
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Quoting tornadodude:


Texas seems to think so ;)


Isn't that the truth. They may try to become the country of Texas. LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Any time TD, anytime! LOL


LOL :P enjoy it
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yeah, the South states are basically a different nation than the rest of America, which refers back that the SOUTH will rise again, Civil war on the horizon?


I disagree with that. Rural areas in the south are like rural areas in the north, and urban areas in the south are like urban areas in the north.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yeah, the South states are basically a different nation than the rest of America, which refers back that the SOUTH will rise again, Civil war on the horizon?


Texas seems to think so ;)
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
by the way, has anyone looked at the screen name for the individual in weather chat? LMAO


LMAO!! omg, that is hilarious!
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Maybe we ought to redesign our way of thinking. What a bunch of ingrates in this country. I am not French nor do I have any special attachment to France. I do, however, know basic history. In that history it is FACT that without France's assistance this country would not be here today. That's all I need to know. Appreciate those who helped preserve this country. We paid them back by helping them out in WW2. So what? I guess we're even? Then the statue...I guess that puts them back ahead in the favors column. I don't think a little condescending behavior (some deserved) is that big a deal.


I agree with you one hundred percent, but didnt we receive the statue before we helped them in WWII?
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Quoting tornadodude:


I agree there, but France now is totally different than France back then...

but we are a totally different nation now as well


Yeah, the South states are basically a different nation than the rest of America, which refers back that the SOUTH will rise again, Civil war on the horizon?
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Quoting tornadodude:


I stand happily corrected, thank you


Any time TD, anytime! LOL
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Carla Bruni may well be the hottest woman who ever lived...Viva la France!!!
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by the way, has anyone looked at the screen name for the individual in weather chat? LMAO
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Grothar:


Like all other overseas American cemeteries in France for World War I and II, France has granted the United States a special, perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax.

The French have always remained grateful of what we have done for them. As many other countries, including Germany who we defeated. The French who work in the cemetaries consider it an honor to maintain it. Those who remember the war still get teary-eyed when they think of the Allies who came to their rescue. I know, I have met many of them. To this day, it is hard to dispel the myths that the French dislike us. They may not always disagree with us, but anti-American sympathy is not only over-exaggerated, but is far less than one would expect.

So many of us, myself included, haven't any way to gauge international attitudes of the world towards us except what we see in the news...that and the very few international bloggers we have come to know here. To be metaphorical, the news, of course, isn't going to cover the lack of a death on the highway, only when there is one.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Maybe we ought to redesign her, and have her flipping the middle finger back towards the Atlantic


Maybe we ought to redesign our way of thinking. What a bunch of ingrates in this country. I am not French nor do I have any special attachment to France. I do, however, know basic history. In that history it is FACT that without France's assistance this country would not be here today. That's all I need to know. Appreciate those who helped preserve this country. We paid them back by helping them out in WW2. So what? I guess we're even? Then the statue...I guess that puts them back ahead in the favors column. I don't think a little condescending behavior (some deserved) is that big a deal.
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Didn't they also have something to do with the fermented grapes juice so many seem to enjoy

Okay, we forgive them some of their trespasses...

Say, Rita, I really enjoyed your weather posts a few days back...the gloom-and-doom...not so much, even in jest, it's a bit of a downer.

It has been fun today, folks...not so much I guess if you're in the way of the blizzard -- they just had one of those "breaking news" spots that says its into New England (they're tough there, tho'.)

Sun's shining brightly here now...I'm out for a bit. Keep playing nice, it's loverly.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Grothar:


Like all other overseas American cemeteries in France for World War I and II, France has granted the United States a special, perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax.

The French have always remained grateful of what we have done for them. As many other countries, including Germany who we defeated. The French who work in the cemetaries consider it an honor to maintain it. Those who remember the war still get teary-eyed when they think of the Allies who came to their rescue. I know, I have met many of them. To this day, it is hard to dispel the myths that the French dislike us. They may not always disagree with us, but anti-American sympathy is not only over-exaggerated, but is far less than one would expect.


I stand happily corrected, thank you
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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