The annual “State of the Climate” report drew on the findings more than 300 climate scientists in 48 countries who measured 10 separate planetwide features, including air and sea temperatures, humidity, Arctic sea ice, glaciers, and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.
“The records come from many institutions worldwide,” Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the agency’s administrator, said in a statement. “They use data collected from diverse sources, including satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, ships, buoys and field surveys. These independently produced lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: our planet is warming.”
The findings do not include data from 2010, which is on pace to exceed the highest annual average global temperature ever recorded, NOAA said. This summer’s weather has been defined by extreme heat events in the eastern United States, Europe, Russia, China, Japan and the Middle East.
The past decade was the hottest recorded, part of an unequivocal pattern of warming dating back 50 years, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report declared on Wednesday.
Experts say that sea ice is melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common, among other indicators.
According to the report, each decade since the 1980s has been progressively warmer than the last, with an average warming of about one-fifth of a degree Fahrenheit per decade.
“The temperature increase of one degree Fahrenheit over the past 50 years may seem small, but it has already altered our planet,” said Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report and chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common.”
The report also suggests that more than 90 percent of the warming over the past 50 years may have gone into the oceans.
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