In the News: World temperature records updated

New data has been added to global temperature records, which now indicate that the world has warmed even more in the last decade than previously thought.

Researchers from the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia have updated HadCRUT, a global temperature set, to include data from weather stations in the Arctic, a region which has experienced one of the greatest levels of warming. The results have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.


Analysis of the new data within HadCRUT, one of just three global temperature sets and one which dates back to 1850, reveals that the world is warming even more than previously thought. The dataset, now known as HadCRUT4, indicates that between 1998 and 2010, temperatures rose by 0.11 degrees Celsius, which is 0.04 degrees more than previously estimated.

The new data has also led to a re-ordering of the hottest years on record, and HadCRUT4’s information is now more in line with the two other global records, held by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the USA.

Prior to the update, HadCRUT placed 1998 as the hottest year on record, followed by 2010, 2005, 2003 and 2002. The addition of the new data now puts 2010 in the lead, followed by 2005, 1998, 2003 and 2006.

Despite these changes, the main conclusions of the temperature series have not altered; the dataset still indicates that, since 1850, an overall warming of 0.75 degrees Celsius has occurred, with the 10 warmest years on record all being in the last 14 years.

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