Section 1: Energy Management
Introduction to Global Warming
2. Global temperature increases
The global average surface temperature has increased over the 20th century by about 0.6 degrees celsius. This increase in temperature is likely to have been the largest for any century in the last 1000 years. Evidence from tree ring records, used to reconstruct temperatures over this period, suggests that the 1990s was the warmest period in a millennium.
It is very likely that nearly all land areas will warm more rapidly than the global average, particularly those at high northern latitudes in the cold season. There are very likely to be:
more hot days
fewer cold days, cold waves and frost days
a reduced diurnal temperature range.
Observations and predictions on temperature change are shown in the diagram below:
Adapted from United Nations Environment Programme/GRID–Arendal: Vital Climate Graphics.
Image by Simon Gilmore.