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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Climate of 2009

As we approach the end of the year, various research institutions are busily crunching the numbers and offering estimates of where 2009 sits with respect to global mean temperature. At the moment, based upon the GHCN/USHCN/SCAR data, 2009 is shaping up to be the fifth warmest year on record (0.56 C above the 1950-1981 baseline), with the 00's being the warmest decade on record. The new data point also eliminates room to wiggle when it comes to claims such as "the climate has cooled in the past ten years" or "the climate has cooled since 1998," as neither claim can now be substantiated (not that they were ever particularly relevant in the first place).

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