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Global warming – 00’s warmest decade on record

The noughties were the warmest decade on record in New Zealand, although last year was cooler than average, latest climate figures from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) show.

The years 2000-2009 were slightly warmer than the 1980s, which were previously the warmest decade on record and now ranked second ahead of the 1970s and 1990s.

Data on temperature change across the decade was first collected in New Zealand in the 1960s.

The warmer climate was due to a combination of natural variability and a background warming trend, Niwa principal scientist James Renwick said.

The findings were in line with a World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) prediction that the 2000s would be the warmest decade on record for worldwide average temperatures, he said.

However, a WMO prediction that 2009 would be the warmest year on record was not borne out in New Zealand, which saw slightly cooler than average temperatures.

New Zealand also missed out on much of the extreme weather which last year caused devastating floods, severe droughts, and storms in many parts of the world.

China suffered its worst drought in 50 years, while tropical cyclones lashed the Pacific, causing floods which left 900 dead in the Philippines.

Niwa’s full summary of the New Zealand climate last year is due next week.



Ken Ring on 6/01/2010 11:06am

According to Australia’s own BoM (Bureau of Meteorology) website
over the past year, average minimums have been COOLER for many northern parts of WA, NT and N QLD and yet no one mentions this.
2009 for many was a cooler year for many, including NZ
for Australia 2008 was cooler
Actually 2008 was colder than 141 years ago!
2007 was the “coldest year this century”
2006? “2006 was cooler than the previous year when averaged across the whole country..”
2005 was warmer, so much so that it upped the average for the decade.

The alarmist beat-up over a warmest decade by a mere 0.1deg is absurd nonsense.
The whole figure is only 0.6 of a degree increase over the past 100 years, and only 1deg over the past 8,000 years (NIWA’s website), all within natural variation. NZ has very poor stats. Two decades ago all thermometers were made of glass, and it was impossible to even read tenths.
Further, one would think that if greenhouse gases were so stridently raising temperatures, then every year would be warmer than the last. In fact the reverse is true, we are cooling. But you won’t hear that from our national climate office.
Ken Ring

RW on 6/01/2010 9:50pm

The last decade has indeed been the warmest decade on record in Australia, and 2009 was the second-warmest year. It has never been claimed that background warming would make every year warmer than the previous one – that is straw-man nonsense. Other factors put too much noise in the system for that to happen. Similarly, in any given year there will be considerable geographic variation.

The Australian record shows that every decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the previous one. And for anti-warmers trying to predict that Victoria’s seeming endless run of rainfall deficiencies (1996 onwards) would end in 2009 – wrong again!

The following maps and related articles make it clear to anyone who can read graphs and who has any mathematical understanding at all that Australia has been getting steadily warmer:

To not regard the second link’s map as significant, you’d have to be blind.

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