Charles Keeling's measurements of carbon dioxide from the summit of Mauna Loa have become a landmark for mankind’s impact on the Earth. In this video, NOAA scientists talk about the history of the observations that allow us to connect Earth's warming climate to the greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

Decision Maker's Toolbox Annual Greenhouse Gas Index

Since 2004, researchers in NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division have released the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index: a single value that compares the total warming effect of each year's concentrations of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels.

Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch, at the National Climatic Data Center talks about the influence of La Niña on the 2011 global average temperature. 

Despite the double-dip La Nina that occurred throughout the year, 2011 was still among the 15 warmest years on record. Including the 2011 temperature, the rate of warming since 1971 is now between 0.14° and 0.17° Celsius per decade (0.25°-0.31° Fahrenheit), and 0.71-0.77° Celsius per century (1.28°-1.39° F) since 1901.

 

It is virtually certain our world will continue to warm over this century and beyond. The exact amount of warming that will occur in the coming century depends largely on the energy choices that we make now and in the next few decades.

Claudia Mengelt and Robert Fri talk about strategies for adapting to and reducing global climate change.

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