Azara Blog: Another warm year

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Date published: 2005/12/15

The BBC says:

This year has been the warmest on record in the northern hemisphere, say scientists in Britain.

It is the second warmest globally since the 1860s, when reliable records began, they say.

Ocean temperatures recorded in the northern hemisphere Atlantic Ocean have also been the hottest on record.

The researchers, from the UK Met Office and the University of East Anglia, say this is more evidence for the reality of human-induced global warming.

Their data show that the average temperature during 2005 in the northern hemisphere is 0.65 Celsius above the average for 1961-1990, a conventional baseline against which scientists compare temperatures.

The global increase is 0.48 Celsius, making 2005 the second warmest year on record behind 1998, though the 1998 figure was inflated by strong El Nino conditions.

The northern hemisphere is warming faster than the south, scientists believe, because a greater proportion of it is land, which responds faster to atmospheric conditions than ocean.

Northern hemisphere temperatures are now about 0.4 Celsius higher than a decade ago.

"The data also show that the sea surface temperature in the northern hemisphere Atlantic is the highest since 1880," said Dr David Viner from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

No measurements of average temperature can be completely accurate, and David Viner believes the team's calculations are subject to an error of about plus or minus 0.1 Celsius.

Ho hum, another warm year. Unless the scientists are completely wrong (and that is certainly a possibility) it is going to get still warmer. Britain might even start getting some decent summers.

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