Climate change is affecting the world. The world’s mountain glaciers lost mass for the 20th year in a row, according to the State of the Climate 2010 report. Greenland glaciers lost more mass last year than any other year on record. The report states that “water from melting glaciers and ice sheets around the world contributes to acceleration of the water cycle and sea-level rise.” Levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) continued to increase. Carbon increased at a faster rate last year than in 2009, and faster than the average rate over the last 30 years.
Last year an atmospheric climate change phenomenon called the Arctic Oscillation switched to its negative phase, and that switch caused frigid air flows out of the Arctic. That switch caused warmer temperatures in the Arctic, but brought colder weather to the Northeastern U.S. Examples cited by the recently released State of the Climate for 2010 include the unusually heavy snow in northeastern states last year. Several cities, including New York City, had their snowiest months on record in February. The Arctic Oscillation’s negative switch also contributed to Britain’s coldest winter since the winter of 1978/79. However, it caused Canada to have its warmest winter since records began in 1948.
Other highlights of the report include:
“The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, while announcing the release of the report.
“There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” said Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University.
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