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A new State of the Climate Report 2010 report has been released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Center. See first link below. Among other findings it reports that the 2010 Northern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest year on record, at 0.73°C (1.31°F) above the 20th century average. Warmer-than-average temperatures occurred during 2010 for most of the world's surface. The warmest annual above-average temperatures occurred throughout the high latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Canada, Alaska, the lower North Atlantic Ocean, the Middle East, eastern Europe, and northern Africa. Temperatures were notably cooler across the Southern oceans, most of the eastern Pacific Ocean, western Scandinavia, part of central Russia, and parts of Australia. Global Precipitation in 2010 was well above the 1961-1990 average, ranking as the wettest on record since 1900. Precipitation throughout the year was variable in many areas.
The diagram below comes from the report published in the June 2010 issue (Vol. 91) of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This report (see second link below) provides a more comprehensive discussion and analysis than the 2010 report on the state of the climate. It was prepared by 300 scientists from 48 countries who analyzed 10 indicators of global climate change. Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the "active-weather" layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere. The past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years. The report emphasizes that human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape. These conditions are consistently warmer, and some areas are likely to see more extreme events like severe drought, torrential rain and violent storms.
For those of you involved in restoration and adaptation work, there is now a Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE), a website that has a growing list of case studies from around the world on climate adaptation in practice. http://www.cakex.org/
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