Satellite Data Show Global Warming Likely To ‘Remain Below 2 Degree C’

  • Date: 21/12/15
  • Reporting Climate Science

Global warming is happening at around 1.2C per century, according to the 37 year old satellite dataset maintained by the University of Alabama in Huntsville

UAH_LT_1979_thru_November_2015_v6

Global warming is within the 2oC goal set by the United Nations (UN), according to scientists from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

An analysis of satellite data stretching back 37 years suggests that temperatures have risen by around 0.4oC since 1978, when continuous satellite monitoring of global atmospheric temperatures began, and that the long-term rate of temperature increase is around 0.115oC per decade or 1.150oC per century.

UAH climate scientist John Christy is quoted in a news release issued by UAH as saying: “If that trend was to continue for another 63 years, the composite warming for the globe would be 1.1 C (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) for the century”. The UAH news release goes on to say that this would be “well under” the UN climate target – which is to keep the rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times below 2oC.

The release also says that 2015 is likely to be the third warmest year on record in terms of global average temperature of the lower troposphere and that 2016 may be even warmer.

Christy is seen by some as being a climate scientist who is somewhat sceptical about the risk posed by global warming.

Here is the text of the news release issued by UAH:

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.11 C per decade

Global average trend.: +0.11 C (about 0.20 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.09 C (about 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.

Tropics: +0.10 C (about 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.

Global Composite: +0.41 C (about 0.73 degrees Fahrenheit) composite change since December 1978.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.52 C (about 0.93 degrees Fahrenheit) composite change since December 1978.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.33 C (about 0.60 degrees Fahrenheit) composite change since December 1978.

Tropics: +0.37 C (about 0.67 degrees Fahrenheit) composite change since December 1978.

The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has warmed just over four tenths of a degree Celsius (almost three fourths of a degree Fahrenheit) during the past 37 years, with the greatest warming over the Arctic Ocean and Australia, said Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Microwave sounding units on board NOAA and NASA satellites completed 37 complete years of collecting temperature data in November, giving us nearly global coverage of climate change during that time.

If that trend was to continue for another 63 years, the composite warming for the globe would be 1.1 C (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) for the century, Christy said. That would put the average global temperature change over 100 years well under the 2.0 C (3.6 degrees F) goal set recently at the climate change summit in Paris.

Due in part (but not exclusively) to the ongoing El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event, the global temperature trend has been trending slightly warmer over the past several months, Christy said. While the current global trend is just under 0.115 C (rounded down to 0.11), he expects the trend line to cross 0.115 C in the next several months, raising the global trend to 0.12 C per decade.

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