According to scientists at the Meteorological Office and the University of East Anglia, who have recently completed their analysis of global temperatures, the eighties were the earth’s wannest decade since records began. Their findings show that six of the ten warmest years so far have occurred during the 1980’s, with 1988 the hottest of all. Since 1900, average temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C, which fits in well with predictions from climatologists about how human activities should have warmed the planet.
The factors that contribute to the warming up of the atmosphere are mainly carbon dioxide gas, produced by the burning of fossil fuels and forests, pollutants, such as chlorofluorocarbons, used in refrigerators, and methane. Climatologists predict that by midway through the next century, temperatures may have risen by as much as 4°C. Happening so quickly, that could catastrophically reduce mankind’s ability to grow food, destroy or severely damage what wildlife and wildernesses remained and raise sea levels, flooding coastal cities and farmland.
Phil Jones, senior researcher at the University of East Anglia, said: “If we are changing the climate, we should do something now rather than wait until the warming is more severe.” Dr. Paul Heaton and Dr. David Parker of the Meteorological Office gathered together temperature records from about 1000 different locations spread across every continent and compared them with the average for those places from 1951 to 1990.
The research also included temperatures measured on ships. The scientists found 1989 was 0.23°C above the 195180 average, and 1988 was 0.31 above. They agree with American researchers that the wannest years during this century were the eighties, and the tendency may be for the nineties to be even hotter!
Mark the best choice.
1. Which of the following is not given as a cause of global warming?
a) Chlorofluorocarbons. b) The burning of fossil fuels. c) Pollutants from cars. d) Methane.