Thursday, July 29, 2010

NOAA study / Phytoplankton decline

Right on the heels of the "35th birthday of global warming," NOAA has released a new study:
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. (full summary)

I cannot tell from the summary whether the report purports to offer additional evidence that these changes are anthropogenic, but since I still run into people who insist, on the basis of a cold winter or two cherry-picked years to compare, that the Earth actually has been cooling, this report looks like it will be worthwhile to read even if it says nothing about the anthropogenic connection. Access the NOAA report in full.

In a releated story, a Nature study reports a massive global decline in phytoplankton biomass since 1899, at a "global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year," and reveals that the "long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface termperatures." The authors of the study are not confident about extrapolation from this into the future, which is good, since the story would otherwise be the most terrifying thing I have ever heard.

H/T: Little Green Footballs.

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