Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Historical Perspective on Arctic Warming

Arctic annual surface air temperature changes from ~1900 to ~2013 relative to the 1901-2000 baseline. (Top Panel) Combined Land & Ocean air temperatures; (Bottom Panel) Land only air temperatures. (Credit: Click to enlarge.
During her most recent Senate testimony, Dr. Judith Curry (Georgia Tech) repeated one of the most common misconceptions found in the blogosphere, that the Arctic was warmer than present during the 1940s.  This period - known as the Early Century Warm Period (ECWP) - coincides with observations of reduced Arctic sea ice cover and allowed for more widespread ship navigation than during the late 1800s and early 1900s (Johanessen et al. 2004).

Based on the data presented above there is virtually no evidence that Arctic air temperatures were greater than present during any previous period of the last century. This is clearly a case where the IPCC should consider amending its text to provide a more accurate picture of Arctic temperature changes.

A Historical Perspective on Arctic Warming

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