November 4, 2012

Recent data continue to support climate change

One of the central questions in climate science has been: “Is the climate warming?”

While the considered answer has been “Yes” for many years, the way science works is that prior conclusions are always challenged when new data are acquired. Let’s look at 2012 and some recent temperature data for the 48 contiguous states and see how that fits with earlier data.

The graph here from the National Climate Data Center tells an interesting story. The nine-month (January to September) average temperature data since 1895 were used in order to see how 2012 compares. The data show a clear upward “Trend” (solid straight line) of about 1.390F per century. The left-hand axis shows this change from about 55.50 to almost 570F. The right-hand axis is in degrees centigrade.

As we can see, the data for 2012 are almost off the chart and far higher than any measurements in the last 117 years.

What is also interesting is the up-and-down annual temperature changes over this period of time. This is the normal “weather” variation we see on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis. This is why climate scientists look for data over longer periods of time in order to arrive at a better understanding of what is going on.

Another aspect of climate science is to evaluate how this information dovetails with other data. The information on minimum ice volume data in the Arctic also supports that warming is occurring.

The bar chart here is based on data from University of Washington PIOMASS project and plotted by L. Hamilton of University of New Hampshire. It shows data from 1979 to 2012 as measured in September when ice is at its minimum. The results are almost startling as the drop in ice volume seems to be accelerating and is only about 20 percent the amount it was 33 years ago.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time