Update (09/05/05): Markus Rex was kind enough to send us the full figure from which Nature made their thumbnail, and which is a little clearer. He also cautions that the 2005 numbers are still preliminary, however there is a clear trend towards increasing potential for Arctic ozone loss, which is realised or not depending on the vagaries of each individual winter.
The recent paper in Science Express by Hansen et al (on which I am a co-author) has garnered quite a lot of press attention and has been described as the ‘smoking gun’ for anthropogenic climate change. We have discussed many of the relevant issues here before, but it may be useful to go over the arguments again here.
The key points of the paper are that: i) model simulations with 20th century forcings are able to match the surface air temperature record, ii) they also match the measured changes of ocean heat content over the last decade, iii) the implied planetary imbalance (the amount of excess energy the Earth is currently absorbing) which is roughly equal to the ocean heat uptake, is significant and growing, and iv) this implies both that there is significant heating “in the pipeline”, and that there is an important lag in the climate’s full response to changes in the forcing.
Due to some odd behaviour with our blog software, many people have had problems this week posting comments. We would like to apologise to our readers if they encountered these problems (bizarre redirections and WordPress login screens appearing where they shouldn’t).
We appear to have fixed the problem (fix from here for those interested), but please let us know if anything weird or unusual continues to occur. Thanks for your patience.