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The Earth continues to heat up


The new data presented by NASA and Annual NOAA leave no doubt that 2013 has been one of the warmest years ever recorded, and the change in the Earth’s climate is still ongoing.

In recent weeks, the panorama of the city of Asheville has been the same for a large part of North Carolina: snow storms, cold temperatures, cold winds and icy roads, closed schools, cut off power lines. This is where the headquarters of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), one of the centers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. federal agency that deals with meteorology.

anual temp

Source: www.nasa.gov; Credit: NASA/NCDC/NOOA

Although the view from the offices of the NCDC seem to indicate otherwise, the scientific data presented, a few weeks ago, from NOAA and NASA in a joint press conference show that 2013 was one of the 10 warmest years ever recorded, and that there is a good chance that 2014 will be even hotter. And there is no real contradiction here: the cold anomalies, which are suffering in different parts of the U.S. and the evidence of a continuing trend of global warming, are not irreconcilable facts.

The statistical anomalies such as those of American storms should not be confused with the general trend of climate change in progress: weather and climate are different things. And the data presented by NASA and NOAA show how the study of temperature rises every year to continue to provide unequivocal evidence in this regard. In the dock there is always carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas that comes natural but because of human activity today knows overproduction (it is present in the atmosphere in such a high percentage that in the last 800,000 years).

The fact that the climate of our planet warms up does not necessarily lead to an increase in annual temperatures. Beyond the fluctuations that can be recorded in the short term, in the long term is that the scientific data show that increasing levels of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere is leading to the increase in global temperatures. And therefore from decade to decade and from year to year the Earth continues to experience higher temperatures every time. 2013 has been a year but exemplary. The average temperature was 14.6 degrees Celsius, or 0.6 ° C higher than the average temperature of the twentieth century. The year just past is the 37th consecutive year in which the temperatures are above the average reference. The global average temperature has risen by about 0.8 ° C since 1880 and, according to the new analysis, for some countries such as Australia, 2013 was the hottest year ever recorded.

“The long-term trend of surface temperatures are unusual in the case of 2013 and adds to the evidence that climate change in progress,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) at NASA. “While a year or a season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the need for continued long-term monitoring.”

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