Stats support glut of hot years clustered in last 17 yrs

December 18th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 18 (ANI): New statistical research has supported the theory that thirteen of the hottest years, since records of global temperatures began in 1880, have clustered in the last 17 years.

According to a report in New Scientist, new statistical research indicates that the recent glut of unusually hot years is incredibly unlikely to happen in a stable climate.

Eduardo Zorita of Germanys Institute for Coastal Research and colleagues calculated the probability of this happening in a range of scenarios.

A key consideration is that the weather one year is not independent of the weather the year before.

If it were, the odds of having any given temperature would be the same each year, and the likelihood of getting a such a 17-year cluster would be tiny on the order of 1 in 10 trillion.

An anomalous warm year tends to be followed by a warm year, because of the way oceans store heat and release it slowly, said Zorita.

A devils advocate could argue that the clustering of warmest years at the end of the record could be simply due to chance, since the climate system has a natural memory, he added.

However, even when Zorita included this natural feedback in his model, but excluded global warming, the odds of observing the cluster of record-breaking years was still about 1 in 10,000.

We cannot ascribe the anomaly to any particular physical factor, like anthropogenic greenhouse gases, said Zorita.

But our conclusions are consistent with those of the fourth IPCC report, which states there is a very high probability that human emissions are causing global warming, he added. (ANI)

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