New NOAA report: The world IS warming

July 28, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

This just in from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA:

The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.

Based on comprehensive data from multiple sources, the report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes. The relative movement of each of these indicators proves consistent with a warming world. Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.

… The report emphasizes that human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape. These conditions are consistently warmer, and some areas are likely to see more extreme events like severe drought, torrential rain and violent storms.

6 Responses to “New NOAA report: The world IS warming”

  1. Greenspace says:

    The real questions are 1) is warming a result of man’s activities and 2) is there anything we can realistically do to change the warming trend?

  2. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    The answer to your first question is certainly yes … no reasonable person really questions that anymore, given the state of the science.

    The National Academy of Sciences recently reported it this way:

    “The report concludes that the world is entering a new geologic epoch, sometimes called the Anthropocene, in which human activities will largely
    control the evolution of Earth’s environment.”

    Your second question? The same National Academy of Sciences report warns that there may be limited ability to change the warming trend, and that it becomes more and more difficult the longer we wait. See this previous blog post:


  3. Greenspace says:

    Well Ken, we know how you feel about it, but you know that there’s plenty of politics and selective data presentation behind both sides of the issue.
    I’m looking at an industry presentation, citing UN data, saying that 96% of global CO2 emissions come from from oceans, soils, vegetation, agriculture, biomass fires, land use change, and wood burning. Just 4% of worldwide CO2 emissions are from combustion of fossil fuels, that just 0.32% of worldwide emissions are from US utilities. Even if we did away with US utility fossil fuel combustion entirely, would it make any difference? Is it worth overhauling our economy and society at huge cost to reduce that 0.32%? Would even elimination of the worldwide 4% make a difference? I’m skeptical, along with many, many others.

  4. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    I’ve seen similar “industry” presentations … perhaps you would be so kind as to provide the rest of us with a link to this one so we can see what you’re talking about?

    In any event, though … those figures show a lack of understanding of the issue and of the problem. CO2 emissions from things like the oceans and soils are really irrelevant to the discussion. Prior to the industrial revolution, those sorts of “emissions” were generally part of a system that was in equilibrium. CO2 output and CO2 take up by the earth were roughly equal and therefore the climate was in balance. We’ve been through all of this several times before on Coal Tattoo, including this post, that includes links to some science that explains issue.

    In the U.S. coal accounts for a third of carbon dioxide emissions. and

    This 2004 figure shows that, globally, coal burning accounts for one-fifth of carbon dioxide emissions,

    And the IPCC reports that energy production accounts for the bulk of worldwide CO2 emissions.

    Finally, it really doesn’t matter much how I feel about it … but the scientific world (people far smarter than I am) have clearly concluded that human activity … the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the rest of the world’s respected scientific academies have concluded that the warming of the world is mostly due to human activity.

    Nothing wrong with being skeptical … but folks who are concerned about the future of human beings pay attention to the science.


  5. Greenspace says:

    The presentation is by one of the largest utilities in the US. Not posted online, and not mine to share.

    “CO2 emissions from things like the oceans and soils are really irrelevant to the discussion.”? I strongly disagree.

    When man’s contribution to worldwide CO2 emissions is so small, we must question whether the warming we see is really man-induced, or just part of the natural cycle of warming and cooling that has always been present. I don’t know, but I’m definitely skeptical. And I definitely question the conclusions of scientists on the public dole. EPA in particular has increasingly become more of a political machine than an objective, science based organization.

  6. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    Well, in the future, please quote or cite only documents or studies that are in the public domain … if you won’t allow everyone else who is reading to see the “evidence” you are citing, it’s not really much of a discussion.

    I notice you didn’t offer even one single example of what is wrong with EPA’s science … if you do have such an example, please include in your comment a link to the science you are criticizing, along with links to the science you believe shows EPA to be wrong.


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