Scientists Say Earth Has Warmed 0.006 Degrees A Year Over 165 Years, Panic Ensues

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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British climate scientists say the global mean temperature for the first nine months of 2015 was 1.02 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — meaning the world has warmed a whopping 0.006 degrees per year for the last 165 years.

“We’ve had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we’re set to reach the 1 °C marker and it’s clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory,” Stephen Belcher, director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said in a statement.

As UK scientists released their warning, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released data showing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were more than 400 parts per million in earlier months this year — 43 percent above pre-industrial concentrations.

Scientists’ warnings that the Earth was halfway to the arbitrary 2 degrees of warming considered “dangerous” by the United Nations and that CO2 concentrations were above 400 parts per million set off a slew of alarming news headlines.

“World already halfway towards threshold that could result in dangerous climate change, say scientists,” the UK Independent reported. “We’re Halfway to Global Warming’s ‘Dangerous Limit,’” echoed Motherboard.

“Greenhouse gases hit new milestone, fueling worries about climate change,” The Washington Post reported, quoting scientists warning of a bleak, warmer future. Scientists and environmentalists have long warned that man-made warming will cause more extreme weather events and exacerbate diseases.

“We are moving into unchartered territory at a frightening speed,” said WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud. “It is an invisible threat, but a very real one.”

“As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker — eventually it will become the norm,” Peter Stott, head of the climate monitoring at the British University, told The Post.

New Met Office and the WMO data come amid speculation that 2015 will beat out 2014 as the hottest year on record. Scientists say years spent more than 1 degree above pre-industrial times will become more common as humans put more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Interestingly enough, the globe’s temperature hitting record levels this year is being driven, in part, by an El Nino warming event and not just man-made warming. El Ninos are natural warming events that tend to push up the global temperature measurements.

“We have seen a strong El Nino develop in the Tropical Pacific this year and that will have had some impact on this year’s global temperature,” Belcher said.

But even as global temperature reaches 1.02 degrees, it’s still not completely attributable to humans. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) found in its last climate assessment that humans were “the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

IPCC’s claims humans are the “dominant” cause of warming since 1950 means they caused anywhere from 51 percent to 99 percent of warming during this period. So anywhere from 0.51 degrees to 1.01 degrees of warming have been attributed to humans by the IPCC.

Either way, warming since 1850, averaged over 165 years, comes out to about 0.006 degrees of warming per year. Of course, the Earth has gone through slight cooling periods since the late 1800s and warming has not been a linear trend.

Met Office data shows the global mean temperature is 1.02 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Met Office data defines the “pre-industrial” temperature baseline as 1850 to 1900, even though that period was well into the industrial revolution.

“There is not a reliable indicator of global temperatures back to 1750, which is the era widely assumed to represent pre-industrial conditions,” according to the Met Office’s website.

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