Today (March 23rd) is World Meteorological Day — the 61st since the founding of the World Meteorological Organisation in 1950 (press release). This year’s theme is “Climate For You”, and the WMO has published a couple of interesting documents to illustrate the idea. Climate For You [pdf] gives an overview of the climate system and the measurement frameworks the WMO runs, while Weather Extremes In A Changing Climate — Hindsight On Foresight [pdf] looks back over the extreme weather events of the last decade, and puts them in the context of the developing IPCC projections of changes in extremes from the first report in 1990 to 2007’s AR4. Both are worth reading for the comprehensive non-technical overview they provide.
Hat to Bob McDavitt at the MetService blog.
[David Gilmour, tribute to Rick Wright]
The World Meteorological Organisation has announced that 2009 is likely to be the fifth warmest year in the global temperature record, and the first decade of the 21st century will be the hottest since instrumental records began in the 1850s. The UK Met Office graphic above shows how the decadal average for the “naughties” easily tops the 1990s, confirming that strong warming continues despite sceptic claims of cooling. Commenting on the release for the Science Media Centre, NIWA principal climate scientist Jim Renwick said:
It is a very good overview of the state of the global climate in 2009, something that has only become possible to do in close to real-time since the advent of comprehensive satellite (and other) observing systems. The climate in 2009 show a mix of events, underlining the effects of climate extremes upon humanity, from the Victorian bush fires, to drought in China, and heat waves in Europe and India. The climate change signal is clear, with the current decade coming in warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s.
See also: BBC, Independent (UK), NZ Herald, NOAA, UK Met Office.