Globally, Earth's atmosphere warmed an average of about 0.4 C (or about 0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) in 30 years, according to data collected by sensors aboard NOAA and NASA satellites. More than 80 percent of the globe warmed by some amount.
A map of Earth's climate changes since December 1, 1978, (when satellite sensors started tracking the climate) doesn't show a uniform global warming. It looks more like a thermometer: Hot at the top, cold at the bottom and varying degrees of warm in the middle.
This is a pattern of warming not forecast by any of the major global climate models.
The area of fastest warming is clustered around the Northern Atlantic and Arctic oceans, stretching from Arctic Canada across Greenland to Scandinavia. The greatest warming has been on opposite ends of Greenland, where temperatures have jumped as much as 2.5 C (about 4.6 degrees F) in 30 years.
During the same time, however, much of the Antarctic has cooled, with parts of the continent cooling as much as Greenland has warmed. But areas of cooling were isolated: Only four percent of the globe cooled by at least half of one degree Fahrenheit.
"If you look at the 30-year graph of month-to-month temperature anomalies, the most obvious feature is the series of warmer than normal months that followed the major El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event of 1997-1998," said Christy. "Right now we are coming out of one La Nina Pacific Ocean cooling event and we might be heading into another. It should be interesting over the next several years to see whether the post La Nina climate 're-sets' to the cooler seasonal norms we saw before 1997 or the warmer levels seen since then."
Virtually all of the warming found in the satellite temperature record has taken place since the onset of the 1997-1998 El Nino. Earth's average temperature showed no detectable warming from December 1978 until the 1997 El Nino.
As part of an ongoing joint project between The University of Alabama in Huntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the ESSC, use data gathered by microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas for which reliable climate data are not otherwise available.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level.
Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a "public" computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
Neither Spencer nor Christy receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from state and federal grants or contracts.Dr. John Christy, 256.961.7763
Phillip Gentry | Newswise Science News
Turning the Climate Tide by 2020
29.06.2017 | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung
Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
28.06.2017 | Frontiers
Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.
Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.06.2017 | Life Sciences
29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine