Thursday, December 14, 2006

2006 likely to be another hot one.

From the Friends of the earth mailing list:

The Global Land and Sea Surface temperature figures for November have now arrived. The usual conventions apply. SST means Sea Surface Temperature, Land means Land Surface Temperature. Numbers are in degrees Celsius above the 1961 – 90 global average . Add 0.09 too these figures to obtain the rise in temperature since 1976.

. SST South 0.19 North 0.58 Globe 0.38

Land South 0.52 North 0.92 Globe 0.72

Land and SST South 0.23 North 0.65 Globe 0.44

The Global temperature for the first 11 months of 2006 is 0.42 degrees Celsius above the 1961 – 90 global average temperature which makes it the sixth warmest year on record. The Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit are forecasting the same temperature and position for 2006 as a whole. These figures come from the Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit.


1 1998 was the warmest year on record. The eight warmest years on record have all been since 1997 and the 10 warmest since 1995.

2 There is very little difference in temperature between the second warmest year on record and the eight . 1998 was 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the second warmest year on record 2005 and 1997 the eight warmest year on record was significantly warmer than the ninth 1995. There is little point in ranking the years between 3rd and 7th inclusive because they are so close in terms of temperature and hence there must be uncertainty about the exact ranking.

3 It makes more sense to say that since 2001 global temperatures have been very stable and more than half a degree Celsius above the global level until 1976. In detail it can be said that 1997 and 1998 was a very warm period followed by a slightly cooler period in 1999 and 2000, the latter year being only the 12th warmest on record, and this has been followed by the present warm period. According to James Hansen and others this last period is as warm as the Holocene optimum 7,000 years ago and the earth has not been warmer than this recent six year spell than for 130.000 years ago before the start of the last ice age.

4 NASA who had 2005 as the warmest year on record are saying this year is more than 0.2 degrees Celsius cooler than last. No other climate unit is saying anything similar. Certainly 2006 does not seem that much cooler than 2005 on a global scale I cannot accept this. My view is that there is something wrong with the way the NASA figures are arrived at. I do not accept either that 2005 was the warmest year on record, 1998 was the warmest.

5 2006 seems likely to be the warmest year on record in England possibly by a considerable margin which though true is very odd considering the global

temperature figures.

5 Some say that Global Warming is taking off now. This is untrue as far as surface temperatures are concerned. They see rapid melt of mountain glaciers and think warming is taking off. Mountain glaciers are melting rapidly because with global temperatures stable since 2001 melting carries on continuously. As more land becomes snow and ice free the suns rays are absorbed rather than reflected, the albedo effect, thus local temperatures rise and more ice and snow melts. Also of course most of the ice and snow, by area, on mountains is only just above the snow line so is very vulnerable to warming.. The area of this local warming is so small that it has very little effect on global temperatures.

My view is that at some point global temperatures will surge. Global Warming is the greatest threat humanity faces. I had expected global temperature to be warmer now than it actually is, but was clearly wrong. It should be acknowledged however that there is a genuine sceptic argument which can say that if global temperatures have been stable for the last six years, and global temperatures have risen by 0.75 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years and 0.53 degrees Celsius in the last 30 years then clearly there has not risen as much as global warming theory suggests they ought to have risen. This implies that the theory is wrong. I don’t accept this myself but it is a valid argument. We will here more of this until the global temperature rises significantly.



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