Rather appropriate news item, after I just came across a short report about more tropical plant species being found at higher elevations on Tai Mo Shan )Local">http://www.hku.edu/ecology/porcupine/por27/27-cover.htm]Local Warming?): 2005">http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=scienceNews&storyI... was warmest year on record: NASA
Last year was the warmest recorded on Earth's surface, and it was unusually hot in the Arctic, U.S. space agency NASA said on Tuesday. All five of the hottest years since modern record-keeping began in the 1890s occurred within the last decade, according to analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In descending order, the years with the highest global average annual temperatures were 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004, NASA said in a statement. "It's fair to say that it probably is the warmest since we have modern meteorological records," said Drew Shindell of the NASA institute in New York City. "Using indirect measurements that go back farther, I think it's even fair to say that it's the warmest in the last several thousand years." ... Shindell, in line with the view held by most scientists, attributed the rise to emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and ozone, with the burning of fossil fuels being the primary source. The 21st century could see global temperature increases of 6 to 10 degrees F (3 to 5 degrees C), Shindell said. "That will really bring us up to the warmest temperatures the world has experienced probably in the last million years," he said.NASA website has news item, saying more cautiously: 2005">http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html]2005 Was the Warmest Year in a Century
Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City noted that the highest global annual average surface temperature in more than a century was recorded in their analysis for the 2005 calendar year. ... what's significant, regardless of whether 2005 is first or second warmest, is that global warmth has returned to about the level of 1998 without the help of an El Nino. The result indicates that a strong underlying warming trend is continuing. Global warming since the middle 1970s is now about 0.6 degrees Celsius (C) or about 1 degree Fahrenheit (F). Total warming in the past century is about 0.8Â° C or about 1.4Â° F. "The five warmest years over the last century occurred in the last eight years," said James Hansen, director of NASA GISS. They stack up as follows: the warmest was 2005, then 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Over the past 30 years, the Earth has warmed by 0.6Â° C or 1.08Â° F. Over the past 100 years, it has warmed by 0.8Â° C or 1.44Â° F. Current warmth seems to be occurring nearly everywhere at the same time and is largest at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Over the last 50 years, the largest annual and seasonal warmings have occurred in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Most ocean areas have warmed. Because these areas are remote and far away from major cities, it is clear to climatologists that the warming is not due to the influence of pollution from urban areas.