February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1991
1990 TEMPERATURE RECORD
Three long-term temperature data sets
indicate that 1990 was the warmest year on record. Two of them extend over 100
years and show that most of the six or seven warmest years have occurred since
1980. One is the record of land and ocean surface temperatures analyzed by
British climatologists at the University of East Anglia and the Hadley Centre;
the other is the land surface temperature record analyzed by NASA's Goddard
Institute for Space Science. The record was broken without the help of El Niño,
which periodically raises global temperatures. However, 1991 is expected to be
an El Niño year, prompting speculation about another record.
The third data set to show a record consists of radiosonde temperatures
analyzed by James Angell of the NOAA in Silver Spring, Maryland, who also
reports a record cooling in stratospheric temperatures, an outcome considered
consistent with the greenhouse effect. None of the scientists involved view
these results as proof of greenhouse warming, but Angell, so far a skeptic on
the question, said he is "beginning to waver."
Science, p. 274, Jan. 18, 1991, discusses how the three-way record
enabled James Hanson, Director of NASA-Goddard, to collect on a $100 bet with
climatologist Hugh Ellsaesser that one of the first three years of the 1990s
would be the warmest on record.
See also "Hot Year Prompts Greenhouse Concern," Sci. News,
p. 36, Jan. 19; "Warmer Winters Fit Greenhouse Model," New
Scientist, p. 186, Jan. 17.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations