Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not So Hot?

Our favourite string theorist whiffs another climate analysis. Earlier this month, he drew profound conclusions from the preliminary estimate that 1998 could still be the warmest year recorded despite a hypothesized warming trend.

Do you remember 1998? Was it a special year? Even though Al Gore was a vice-president, 1998 is still the "globally" warmest year on record.

An absurd argument in any case, but now made doubly silly by the latest computations showing 2005 to have been the warmest year on record.
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
This despite the fact that at least two natural trends would seem to be dictating a cooler Earth. We are now in a la Nina phase (El Nino's are hotter) and the Earth's albedo has increased (meaning more sunlight is being reflected into space.