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.