Global warming continues and 2010 may be the warmest recorded year

As I am writing this it is very cold, for London, right now and some parts of the United Kingdom are covered in snow. More freezing weather is forecast. In January and February of this year London had one of the coldest winters for many years. But the world does not comprise London or even the United Kingdom.

On a worldwide basis the UK’s Met Office has been looking at data about the climate in 2010 so far. They report that according to NASA 2010 will be the hottest year recorded and according to the UK’s own data (HadCRUT3) the world is heading for its second hottest year. We will not know until the data for 2010 is complete but the previous record hottest year was 1998. The long term warming trend is a rise of between 0.5 and 0.16 Celsius a year, according to whose data is used. However, the data is incomplete because we cannot collect data from everywhere and some regions are poorly represented and the amount of heat energy going into the oceans of the planet is not properly understood.

In summary, global warming continues, but we cannot say that the rate is of warming is slowing permanently or that global warming has reached a plateau.