According to Nasa, last year was, on a global level, the Second Hottest Year on Record, and it marks the End of Warmest Decade ever recorded.
Earth’s surface temperatures have been increasing since 1880. During the period between 1940 and 1970 the trend levelled off, but since then the increase has been even sharper than before.
Getting hotter in the South
Furthermore, 2009 was the second warmet year on record and, it has been the hottest year on record in the Southern Hemisphere.
Most of the world’s land mass is in the Northern Hemisphere where roughly the ratio of land to ocean is between 1 to 1.5. The Southern Hemisphere on the other hand is mostly ocean, with a ratio of land to oceean of 1 to 4.
Land warms very quickly and cools fast too (that is why the Northern Hemisphere has scorching Summers and freezing Winters). The opposite is true for water, which warms slower than land and cools slower (there is less variability between Summer and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere).
For this reason an increasing temperature in the Southern Hemisphere is a sure indicator that the oceans are getting warmer. The 2009 temperatures have been 0.49°C (0.9 °F) hotter than the period spanning 1951 to 1980.
The World is also warming up
The coolest year of the decade was 2008 (due to a cooling phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean the Niña – Niño), but despite this anomaly, the growing temperatures trend continued in 2009.
The warmes year ever (globally) was 2005 and the other warmest years (besides 2009) have been: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 1007, 1998. The period between January 2000 and December 2009 has been the hottest decade ever recorded.
Since 1880, the global temperature has increased about 0.8°C (1.4°F).
Niña – Niño
These are due to very warm or cool sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. After the Niña, the global temperatures drop – this led to low 2008 temperatures. This year (2010) the el Niño will have the opposite effect pushing global temperatures upwards, this may make 2010 the warmest year on record if the El Niño persists.
Greenhouse Gases warm the Earth
The real culprit however are the Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Our cars, heaters, air conditioners, light bulbs, TVs, refrigerators, PCs, just keep on consuming energy and therefore spewing out CO2 and NOx gases into the atmosphere. The cows that we feed on (sheep too) burp Methane (CH4) in vast quantities when they inefficiently transform fodder into beef and milk -being vegan is a greener option than being a carnivore.
So you can act now and reduce your Carbon Footprint see some tips on how to bee greener.
 NASA. 2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade.
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