A major international climate study has confirmed that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the past 50 years.
The 2009 State of the Climate report released by the US National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC) drew on data from many measurable climate indicators that all pointed to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable.
Dr Lisa Alexander, a senior lecturer in the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, was one of the lead authors of the study, as editor and author of Chapter 2 - Global Climate.
"This is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's most comprehensive statement of the global climate to date," Dr Alexander said.
"It brought together over 300 authors from 48 countries.
"The main take home message is that average surface temperature estimates for the globe in 2009 marked the end of the warmest decade in the instrumental record - that is, since about 1870," she said.
"Each of the last three decades has been progressively warmer than all earlier decades. Last year was one of the top 10 warmest years globally and 2009 also ended Australia's warmest decade since records began."
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