Tuesday, December 18, 2007
2007 on Course for Fifth Warmest Year
According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2007 will wind up as the fifth warmest year since recordings of global temperatures began. If this prediction is accurate 2007 will edge out 2006 for a spot in the top five. The NCDC says that the temperatures so far this year rank it as the fourth warmest on record but La Niña conditions will prevent it from staying ahead of 2003. Seven of the eight warmest years, counting this year, have occurred since 2001 suggesting an ominous trend. The NCDC says that global temperatures are increasing by about 0.15 C (0.27 F) per decade which is three times as fast as the average increase in global temperature last century. It is projected that if greenhouse gases from human sources continue to increase that the the global temperature will keep increasing by about 0.15 C per decade throughout the rest of the century well into the range where predictions of catastrophic climate change would occur.