The temperature on Earth is one-degree Celsius warmer now than it was in the late 1800s. Also, the last 5 years have been the hottest years ever recorded!
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These results were reported in a temperature data set by NASA, and it seems like independent satellite records have also confirmed them. Researchers have found that the pace at which climate is changing could be a lot faster than what was previously thought – at least in the parts that are warming the fastest.
The NASA data, which is known as Goddard’s Global Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), is one of the two data sets that’s maintained by U.S. government agencies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains the other data set.
Both data sets are put together based on the merger of thousands of thermometer records and a growing number of ocean measurements. These thermometers are spread across land surfaces on Earth.
Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) data, sometimes show higher warming than what’s indicated by NASA’s GISTEMP data set – especially in the Arctic, where measurements are particularly scarce. AIRS is a facility instrument used by NASA on its Aqua Satellite to gather infrared energy that is emitted from the atmosphere and the surface of the planet on a daily basis, throughout the globe. Weather prediction centers all over the world use AIRS data to help with their forecasts.
Shockingly, AIRS data has even indicated that the warming trend over the Barents and Kara seas in the Arctic region is at the rate of 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit – or 2.5 degrees Celsius – every decade!
The information that’s gathered from these data sets should put to rest any concerns that data regarding climate change and modern warming are a result of measurement errors. The AIRS data, in fact, captures the entire surface of the Earth. If anything, it shows that our surface measurements are actually quite modest, and we may be underestimating the rate at which climate change and modern warming are happening.
The study is also reinforcing the fact that the Arctic zone is warming at a much quicker pace than the rest of the world.