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2007 Warmest Winter on Record

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released their official report on the worldwide climate for February, and for this past winter in general which includes December – February. 2006-2007 has been found to be the record warmest winter in the past 100 years. The report has a lot of information relating to various aspects of climate such as precipitation and snow pack data, but I found one image to be particularly striking: the temperature anomalies for December – February…

So what does this image show exactly? Well, a whole lot of red… Seriously though, to generate this graph the NCDC took worldwide weather observations for December – February for a 30 year period from 1961 to 1990. Then, they took the combined worldwide weather observations for December – February of this year and compared the two. Temperature deviations are shown by different sized/colored dots for a given area.

What’s surprising is not only the large areas over land in the Northern Hemisphere that were 5°C (9°F) or warmer than normal, but also the expanse of warm temperatures worldwide. It’s fairly common for one section of the globe to be warmer or cooler than normal for a few months at a time, but this image is showing warmer than normal temperatures almost universally around the globe.

Some of this can be credited to the recent El Nino event we had this winter. El Nino does play a role, but it most certainly is not responsible for all the warming taking place. CO2 emissions are at an all-time high, and increasing at a faster rate than ever before. If we don’t do something to keep CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere in check, the earth will be a much different place to live 100 years from now.

2 Comments

  1. Here is the most sobering article I’ve read on global warming. What’s the most distressing part of it is that all this is happening within the next 100 years.

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-03-11-climate-report_N.htm

  2. That is an excellent article. The scientific IPCC document that article is referring to can be found here:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

    This is just a summary article though. Each of the sections will be expanded upon and a full release of the report will be happening later this year. In the scientific world, the IPCC report is taken almost as gospel. Over 600 leading researchers in countries worldwide work on the IPCC report and it’s edited by several hundred others for accuracy. The organization releases a climate report only every 5 years, so it’s a big deal when a new one comes out.

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