2005 hottest year on record (in Australia)

It's hard not to post this, after enjoying an 84-degree day here in Dallas and swatting a mosquito.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/20060...01/s1541414.htm
"2005 hottest year on record -- Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell says new data showing 2005 was Australia's hottest year on record is further evidence of climate change. The Bureau of Meteorology is releasing figures today showing the average temperature last year was 22.89 degrees. It is the highest average temperature in Australia since comprehensive record keeping began in 1910."

I was pretty convinced global warming was a very slow process that couldn't be measured, but this is just strange. My wife Shannon, who keeps up on this, says that some conceptual models floating around suggest that catastrophic global warming could occur on a scale of decades. I'm not about to get my tinfoil hat, but still...

I wonder if NWS/NOAA is logging any annual figures like this.

Has it been cold where you are?

Tim
 
I guess my question is, what year was the hottest prior to 2005, and what year was the coldest? Could just be a random fluctuation in a long-term average.
 
Not just Australia. I saw some stories saying that it was the hottest year on record for the entire globe.

USATODAY: HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR NORTHERN HEMPISPHERE.

NASA: NASA has released new data projecting that 2005 will be the hottest year on record. Alex Chadwick talks with New York Times science correspondent Andrew Revkin about recent measurements on climate change and evidence of global warming.

We had an unusually warm Autumn this year, when it can get typically 0-10c it was more like 20-25c through the beginning of November. Of course in late November and December it switched to the extreme and became very cold 0/-10c. Now it's a little warmer than I would expect it to be since most of the snow is melting because we keep coming above freezing during the day.

Shane not sure if this awnsers your question because it's globally but look at:
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/...32344.stm#graph

That, the ozone hole, the melting of the polar ice caps. Whether it's global warming or some sort of natural cycle it is really quite alarming.


-Scott Olson.
 
I am not going to enter the Global Warming debate, but 2006 started on a record high too for much of eastern Australia.

The closest official temperature reading to my home ( just 5km away ) was 44.6C ( over 112F ). I recorded 43C neat at my home.

I have lived here for 30 years and have not seen over 40C before. I live in a very moderated environment with ocean 2 km away, and a seawater estruary a block away.

Two massive tree ferns that have been with the house since it was built have been burnt almost dead. I guess they will recover, but it is yet another thing I have not seen before.

That been said the last few days have been very mild.
 
2005 was definately a hot year. I will always remember that summer well. For the first time ever, we had the central air running non stop. Most of our spring/summer days have seen temps 30 C or above, and being in southern Ontario, we got the humidity from the lakes so it really felt like hell here.
 
I think the Ice Age theory sounds about right. Perhaps that's the Earth's cycle - The Earth warms which then causes the ice caps to melt... That in turn cools the Earth again, which might cause new polar ice caps to form. The cycle would obviously keep repeating on some large timescale.
 
In the grand scheme of things the earth has almost never been colder than it is right now. Well, it was colder during the last ice age, but only a little. Were actually just between ice ages right now.

This is all pretty moot because the time scales here are huge and its hard to look past the headlines.

You never know though, one big Krakatoa or Tambora type event could tip the scales in the cold direction very easily.
 
Breaking News: My personal weather station just recorded the hottest year on record for Darien, CT.

I forgot to mention that my record period is only 2.5 years. Sounds short doesn't? Well, the 100-150 years that makes up most weather station data (at the major stations) is really short too. My guess is that our current global climate has been around for 100,000 to 1 million years...at least. Does a sample of the last 150 represent that period at all?

This isn't an argument for or against global warming. Its a reality check in mathematics and statistics.
 
I agree Bill... And I think a famous Shane Adams once said something along the lines of humans not being able to destroy Earth - and boy I believe it.

The only thing we will destroy is ourselves - not the environment. A hundred million years from now, we may not be here - but I bet Earth and some form of life will still exist.
 
The earth is big and resilent but is still has a compisition so I think we can certainly alter the atmosphere. Even a small change such as a a slight (1/10s of a centigrade) SST change in the Atlantic and Pacific can cause an event such as the Dust Bowl.

The Earth cycles are always going to be more pronouced. While the Earth is capable of dealing with it's own imbalances it doesn't have the necessary process for maintaing it's compisition in the face of added greenhouse gasses. That's not even to mention all the health effects of pollution with millions of kids getting Asthma from living in cities were there is a constant haze.

Im not 100% convinced either way. Some of the studies and general research consensus gives reason for the need for steps to be taken. But, the obvious lack of fundamental data also gives to uncertainity. So for the sake of reliaizing that it exists after the fact of some sort of climate response I like to error on the side of caution until more data is avaliable on previous short-term/long-term variability and climatic shift patterns.

-Scott.
 
The earth is big and resilent but is still has a compisition so I think we can certainly alter the atmosphere. Even a small change such as a a slight (1/10s of a centigrade) SST change in the Atlantic and Pacific can cause an event such as the Dust Bowl.

The Earth cycles are always going to be more pronouced. While the Earth is capable of dealing with it's own imbalances it doesn't have the necessary process for maintaing it's compisition in the face of added greenhouse gasses. That's not even to mention all the health effects of pollution with millions of kids getting Asthma from living in cities were there is a constant haze.

Im not 100% convinced either way. Some of the studies and general research consensus gives reason for the need for steps to be taken. But, the obvious lack of fundamental data also gives to uncertainity. So for the sake of reliaizing that it exists after the fact of some sort of climate response I like to error on the side of caution until more data is avaliable on previous short-term/long-term variability and climatic shift patterns.

-Scott.

Well written, Scott!

I'm not one who feels people are to blame for "global warming", but the jury is still out! Which simply means I could be completely wrong. Modern observation only goes back so far...so we are dealing with guess work...not that those doing the guess work aren't very, extraordinarily in fact, brilliant!

The subject isn't completely understood...I suppose this is the main point regarding our "new heat".

Pat
 
Back on topic and the global warming debate aside, Mount Washington also had a very warm summer. 4th warmest on their short 80 year record, but still warm.
 
I think there isn't much dispute that global warming due to greenhouse gasses is real. What is debatable is when and whether it becomes a runaway condition, and its significance for particular locations.

There may be paradoxical effects in some areas, such as cooling throughout Europe. But the continuing stream of reports are hard to ignore: Alaska temps up 2C or more, Greenland glaciers melting several times faster than expected, Arctic ice coverage shrinking fast, North Atlantic deepwater circulation down by 25+%, etc., etc. All these are consistent with scientists' predictions, and on the higher ends of the range. The Amazon just got some rains to lessen a catastrophic drought, but many scientists see a link with higher Atlantic Ocean temperatures. The destruction of a large portion of the South American rainforests could be an impetus toward a runaway condition. I sure don't want to leave that for future generations!

More drought in the Great Plains, more tropical storms, more heat in Australia? The jury is still out on these, from what I read and understand.
 
I kinda agree with Shane on this one.

Granted, I am no climate expert. But I think it is a bit debatable what we are seeing. Sure, I recognize that there can flucuations in average temperture around the world. And I think one could definately make the claim that we have seen a small rise over the past 100 years in average global temperture.

But after that, things kind of become cloudy to me and some of the other stuff I take with a grain of salt. For example, I am not sure that human activity is to blame for the warming at all. It could be. It could not be. But it could just as easily be related to some natural cycle that would have occurred even without humans occupying this planet. Afterall, looking back at this planet's history, we know that this did happen, numerous times. And many of those warming/cooling events were far more drastic than anything we have experienced since occupying planet earth.

And even worse, this has now become a big political issue. We all know any time something enters political discussion, it always becomes one great big brouhaha and it's sometimes hard to seperate the fact from the fiction which is so common to politics.

So where does that leave me? I don't deny that we are seeing a very recent trend of earth warming (and some other odd patterns that may somehow be connected). But am I ready to say that this is entirely or even partly to blame on human activity? No. I think we still have far too much to learn about what we are seeing before we can come to any real conclusions about the causes and corrective measures (providing we as humans can correct it). Humans have been studying tornadoes for hundreds of years and we still don't know how they form. And we have some of the brightest minds in the world working to find those answers. So am I to believe that we can truly understand global warming, something that we have really only been heavily studying for about 30 years, when it is a far more broad and complicated issue? I have a hard time accepting some of the claims I have heard as "fact" considering these truths. For example, some of our efforts that were iniated 20 or more years ago to provide better air quality have recently been determined by some scientists to actually worsen global warming. It's a very complicated issue.

Rather than jumping to any conclusions either way, dismissing anything or denying anything, or turning it into a political matter (which is sure to kill any beneficial progress), I am for a reasonable, methodical approach to first trying to learn everything we can about this pattern. Unfortunately, that does take time. But if we wish to do more good than harm, we need to make sure we know what we are doing before trying to do much, too soon. In fact, 100 years is not even long enough to be scientically relevant in terms of establishing that a true change is taking place, considering the time scale of the earth. This is a very, very complicated thing, with many interactions we may not even yet fully be aware of. So I think a common sense approach is the only way to deal with this, rather than emotional panick or completely dismissing global warming as garbage. That's the only way we will ever get to the bottom of this or make any meaningful progress. The problem didn't manifest itself overnight, it won't be corrected overnight and I don't think we are all going to be doomed by it within the next 20-30 years either. But if global warming is truly a part of a natural cycle, there may or may not be anything we can do to change it anyway. As crafty as we humans are, sometimes nature is even more crafty and there may very well come a day when earth decides it has had enough of us and shakes us off as a dog would shake off fleas. Hey, it happened to the dinosaurs. We could be next.
 
More drought in the Great Plains, more tropical storms, more heat in Australia? The jury is still out on these, from what I read and understand.

The jury most certainly is still out regarding an ultimate cause, which is the main question reagarding "new heat".

Pat
 
Although the summer of 2005 wasn't exactly the hottest (but 2002 was, though), this winter's been mostly very mild. Try +14°C (57°F to you Americans!) This was how warm it's gotten in Calgary! Edmonton was up to near +10°C (50°F) over the Christmas holidays.

It would certainly not surprise me if this really is an El Nino year, though maybe not as nasty was the case in 1997 (?) and 1982. In fact, I can see the planet going into a permanent El Nino.

There's already increasing evidence that a permanent El Nino was exactly what happened during the late Miocene* (roughly 10-7 million years ago) and Pliocene (7-2.7 million years ago) epochs before the Pleistocene (within the last 2.7 million years) glaciation began.

*The entire Miocene epoch spanned from 20 to 7 million years ago. This was when grasslands became truly widespread for the first time and near the end, that Greenland started to have widespread ice for the first time. Humans have only been around since the latest Pliocene.
 
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