I know we’re supposed to be going into a period of cooling, at least according to people who don’t believe in the scientific method. For those who do however, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reports in its “Climate of 2008 July in Historical Perspective”:

Based on preliminary data, the globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record for July and the ninth warmest for the January-July year-to-date period.

It is worth noting that El Niño-Southern Oscillation conditions remained in a neutral phase during July. And we’re still at a solar minimum.

And no, I don’t think the monthly data tell us much about the climate — but I know reporting it annoys the deniers, and I am trying to enjoy my vacation. As for what the peer-reviewed scientific literature forecasts for the next decade, temperature-wise:

  • The “coming decade” (2010 to 2020) is poised to be the warmest on record, globally.
  • The coming decade is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960.
  • The fast warming would likely begin early in the next decade — similar to the 2007 prediction by the Hadley Center in Science.

That is why they call it global warming.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.