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Climate Change Index for week ending 31 Jan. 2010

Greenbang’s weekly Climate Change Index tracks research findings and events directly attributable to global warming. Our aim is to provide a numerical, week-to-week indicator of climate change developments.

Items that qualify for listing in each week’s index include new climate data published in peer-reviewed academic journals and extreme weather incidents or other natural events that are likely directly linked to the global warming trend.

The Climate Change Index for this week, ending 31 Jan. 2010 (details below): 8

28 January: Rather than falsely recording artificially warm weather data, poorly sited weather stations in the US have been found to have a cool bias in maximum temperature readings (PDF) and only a slight warm bias in minimum temperatures, a new study has found.

28 January: An unexplained drop in the amount of water vapor in the upper atmosphere could account for the slower-than-expected progress of climate change in recent years, a new study found.

28 January: The global carbon cycle’s sensitivity to climate change — how warming affects the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide — might be much smaller than previously thought, though it remains positive, according to new research.

28 January: Climate change is causing birds to take off for migration sooner, although they aren’t necessarily reaching their destinations earlier — possibly because of harsh weather conditions along the way, a new study reports.

27 January: Scientists have measured increased emissions of a greenhouse gas — HFC-23, or trifluoromethane — that is thousands of times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide and persists in the atmosphere for nearly 300 years.

26 January: The hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing, but its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.

25 January: New data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service shows that the mass of glaciers around the globe continues to decrease.

25 January: Researchers in Oregon say climate change is the likely reason for a major increase in maximum ocean wave heights off the Pacific Northwest in recent decades.

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