Friday, March 16, 2007
World breaks temperature records
Friday March 16, 2007
The world experienced its warmest period on record during this year's northern hemisphere winter, the US government said today.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report said the globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature for December to February was the highest since records began in 1880.
During the three-month period, known as boreal winter, temperatures were above average worldwide, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and areas in central United States.
The global average was 0.72C higher than the previous record in 2004, but the report did not provide an absolute temperature for the period. An NOAA spokesman told Reuters news agency that the deviation from the mean was what was important.
A significant contributing factor to the record warmth was an El Niño weather pattern, a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean. It was particularly strong in January - the warmest January ever - but the ocean surface had since begun to cool.
In the northern hemisphere, the combined land and water temperature was the warmest ever at 0.91C, while the southern hemisphere, where it was summer, recorded a temperature 0.49C above average, which was the fourth warmest.
The global temperature of land surface alone during this period was also the warmest on record, while the ocean surface temperature was the equal second warmest, with the equatorial Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and the South Indian oceans all recording warmer than average temperatures.
During the past century, global temperatures had increased at about 0.06C each decade, but the increase had been three times larger since 1976, at about 0.18C per decade, the report said.
The 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.
The report comes just over a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said global warming had very likely been caused by human actions and was so severe it would continue for centuries. Most scientists attribute the rising temperatures to so-called greenhouse gases, which build up in the atmosphere and trap heat from the sun.
"The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."
- Jerry Falwell
“Global warming is indeed a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests, but in need of crash courses in geology, logic and the philosophy of science.”
Dr Martin Keeley
With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.
JAMES M. INHOFE, speech in U.S. Senate, July 28, 2003
Yes, there is still much about global warming we have to learn and research should continue. But the longer we delay, the more CO2 will build up in the atmosphere. It stays there a long time. If we wait too long before acting, we will pass a point of no return and lock ourselves into centuries of global warming. We could pass one of those dangerous tipping points that could make life very difficult. It's a risk we shouldn't take.
JIM DIPESO, speech, May 1, 2003
Global warming -- at least the modern nightmare vision -- is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world's politicians and policy makers are not.
DAVID BELLAMY, Daily Mail, July 9, 2004
I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I'm going to buy a Suburban next time.
Much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than science.
Climate changes. It's warmed a little. The issue is, is it a bad thing? It may be a good thing. John Stossel
There are many who still do not believe that global warming is a problem at all. And it's no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.
On February 14, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly and Brit Hume all reported on the cancellation of a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on climate change due to severe winter weather conditions in Washington, D.C., with both Blitzer and Kelly deeming the turn of events "ironic," suggesting that cold weather and snow in February cast doubt on the existence of global warming.
On the February 14 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, host Blitzer said: "And, of course, all the severe winter weather is coming amid growing concern about global warming. In fact, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing on all things global warming this morning. Ironically -- get this -- it was canceled because of the winter weather conditions here in the nation's capital. It's cold out there."
On the February 14 edition of Fox News Channel's America's Newsroom, anchor Kelly said, "And how's this for irony? The House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality had to cancel its 10 a.m. hearing today. Lawmakers there were going to talk about global warming. Instead, dealing with a national freeze."
On the February 14 edition Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, anchor Hume said, "A House subcommittee hearing on climate change and the warming of the planet was called off today because of the snow and ice storm that hit Washington. And in St. Louis, a scheduled showing of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth movie on global warming was canceled by Maryville University because of the harsh winter weather."
News of cancellation of the climate change hearing and, as Hume reported, a showing of An Inconvenient Truth, the former vice president's documentary on global warming, both due to cold weather conditions, also appeared on the Drudge Report, the website of Internet gossip Matt Drudge. The weblog Think Progress noted that some right-wing bloggers cited the Drudge story as evidence that global warming does not exist.
On February 15, The Washington Times also reported the cancellation of the climate change hearing, and noted that "[t]he news was pointed out by climate-change skeptics and was a lead headline on the Drudge Report."
As Media Matters for America has previously documented, weather in a given portion of the United States at any one time is not indicative of whether the Earth is warming. As the National Climatic Data Center noted in its preliminary 2006 report, "[f]ollowing the warmest year on record for the globe in 2005, the annual global temperature for 2006 is expected to be sixth warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880." That report also noted that "the 2006 annual average temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) will likely be 2°F (1.1°C) above the 20th Century mean, which would make 2006 the third warmest year on record."