2006: sixth warmest year on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:36 PM GMT on December 15, 2006

The planet's high fever abated only slightly in 2006 compared to 2005, according to preliminary figures issued by the National Climatic Data Center on Thursday. Following the warmest year on record for the globe in 2005, the annual global temperature for 2006 is expected to be sixth warmest since record keeping began in 1880. The annual averaged global temperature was 0.52�C (+0.94�F) above normal, just 0.09�C below the record set in 2005. Very little of the globe was cooler than normal in 2006--only Siberia had temperatures more than 1� C cooler than average (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Temperature departures from normal for 2006, based on preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center.

U.S. Temperatures
The 2006 annual average temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) will likely be 2�F (1.1�C) above the 20th Century mean, which would make 2006 the third warmest year on record. Only 1998 and 1934 were warmer than 2006. Three months in 2006 (January, April and July) were either the warmest or second warmest on record. Only September and October were cooler than average. A quick look at the jet stream pattern for the remainder of 2006, as forecast by the GFS model, reveals a continuation of the abnormal warmth we've seen over most of the U.S. this month. There will be very few regions of the country experiencing a white Christmas this year.

European temperatures
The Meteorlogical Office of England announced yesterday that 2006 was the warmest year in England since record keeping began in 1659. The years 1990 and 1999 shared the record, previously. The weather this Fall has been the warmest ever recorded over most of western Europe. One UK newspaper trumpeted the headline yesterday, "The hottest year since 1659 spells global doom". I don't agree that the hottest year ever in one small country is evidence that global doom is approaching. However, the statistics of what has happened globally the past 30 years speak volumes. Including 2006, six of the seven warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the ten warmest years have occurred since 1995. The global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6�C and 0.7�C (1.1 - 1.3� F) since the start of the 20th Century, and the rate of increase since 1976 has been approximately three times faster than the mean for the past 100 years. If the rate of warming since 1976 (Figure 2)--0.55�C in 30 years--is sustained the remainder of this century, the Earth will be a full 2�C warmer in 2100 than it was in 1990. This amount of warming would be tremendously costly to society and highly damaging to many ecosystems.

Figure 2. Temperature departures from normal for 1880-2006. Source: National Climatic Data Center.

The globe is undeniably warming at rapid rate, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if 2007 surpasses the global temperature record set in 2005, since we are entering 2007 with a moderate El Ni�o event on our hands. El Ni�o conditions add a tremendous amount of heat to the Earth's surface, and the current El Ni�o--which is expected to last at least until May--should drive up global temperatures significantly. Global doom is not at hand, but the predictions by our best climate scientists of a 1.4 to 5.8�C increase in global temperatures between 1990 and 2100 are quite believable and need to be taken seriously.

Next week, I plan to talk about the not-so-cheerful study published in Geophysical Research Letters this week titled, Future abrupt reductions in the summer Arctic sea ice. A sudden and complete disintegration of the North Polar ice cap could happen by 2040, according to some computer model calculations.

Jeff Masters

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297. BahaHurican
1:46 PM EST on December 17, 2006
It sure does look like it's going to get run over by that vigourous-looking low that's headed for Europe . . .
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296. BahaHurican
1:32 PM EST on December 17, 2006
Here's a EUMETSAT view of the same low.
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295. Skyepony (Mod)
6:34 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
I don't think I've left out that there is alot of CO2 that naturally occurs, stated time & time it cycles, it's extra scary we've added this extra CO2 & other greenhouses gases that don't end up naturally in the atmosphere (many of which hold more heat in & last longer than CO2) at the peak of a natural cycle.

Don't see how tunnels have anything to do with the funding of junkscience.com

Odd according to the NASA graph there the solar minimum is bottoming out at zero or near there.

The point had nothing to do with human existance but that CO2 has oscillated since the atmosphere was created.

Yeah humans have been around roughly 200000 years & you want to point out the levels of CO2 900000000 years ago. Why? It has nothing to do with the debate other than to distract. Which brings me to my last point, I've continued this partually for the fun of the sake of debate. & the fun has grown thin with your growing lack of info & links that relate to the actual debate topic at hand. So I'm done, shake hands & let the masses decide the winner.

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294. 1900hurricane
12:27 PM CST on December 17, 2006
Another good loop
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293. 1900hurricane
12:11 PM CST on December 17, 2006
Hello Y'all!

As cyclonebuster pointed out, there is an interesting-looking low in the Central North Atlantic. It appears to be only an occlusion, and will probably dissipate as the next front approaches the area. Still, it is cool to watch.

North Atlantic RGB Loop

NASA Infared Loop

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292. BigBake
5:32 PM GMT on December 17, 2006

The tunnel project was drawn into the discussion because you cited that some information is derived by those who have large stakes in energy. I was just pointing out an example that large stakes are also at risk for those who want a piece of the pie. I was not stating the "tunnel" theory as an actual viable solution to our problems and in fact made reference to that as I typed that statement hence "I cannot keep a straight face while typing that". Context of the discussion requires reading all of it, not just a small part.
291. BigBake
5:24 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
I did not state that you had stated that ice does not contribute. I just stated that you seem to leave out the largest contributors of CO2. Sorry but our bruning of bio mass only contributes 15% of the current CO2 in the atmoshpere. You have looked passed the living bio mass, the people, the animals to support those people, the fact as the oceans get larger they in turn have a larger bio mass, I mean 3/4 of the Earths bio mass lives there. Omission is what I am getting at, you omit the rest of the key players in CO2 production and concentrate on one sole as if it is key to reducing CO2. It will have no effect, you would have to eliminate life in order to reverse the trend.
Solar output is not only determined by the 11 year cycle, but its total amount of energy being forced onto the planet. During a solar minimum for example, there is little to no activity. Or at least it used to be that way until a thousand years ago. Then the sun started having more activity during solar minimums. We are currently at a minimum, but yet that minimum has more output measured than a solar maximum did thousands of years ago. You are talking and graphicly showing only one cycle of the sun, and missing a bigger cycle that is currently going on.
The amount of CO2 in the forming of the Earths atmosphere was key to forming the air we have today. To show you the level in a graph......... The point had nothing to do with human existance but that CO2 has oscillated since the atmosphere was created.

290. Skyepony (Mod)
4:30 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
BigBake ~where are you getting these words your trying to put in my mouth? How could I be stating the ice has no CO2 in it? I posted a graph showing how much CO2 is in the ice through the years. You seem to be stating that burning of the world's bio masses has no added effect to the CO2... & yes when the world warms more CO2 is realeased naturally to an extent, til earths balances equalize it (hence the cycles) but there are areas of permafrost (full of greenhouse gases)that havn't melted in eons & if we melt those by forcing the temps beyond nature while removing the balances such as trees...isn't that experiment on our home a little worrisome to you?

I mean your chart shows that increase of CO2 before the industrial period. odd, no burning of fossil fuels then and a huge spike, in fact the same trend since twenty thousand years ago. Explain away at that same trend.

That is not odd that's part of the cycle, what isn't is to the right of that, the red line going straight up from 290ppmv to 370ppmv since the industral revolution began....there is no such trend 20,000 years ago (or anywhere else on that graph). Looking back in the ice (& we now have records going beyond 400,000 years), in those records CO2 natually has always stayed below 300ppmv. Still denying the corrilation between CO2 & temps? If you had taken some chemistry for science majors you would understand how burning fossil fuels enhances the greenhouse affect & unnatually warms the earth. & statistics is a prerequisite so long before that it isn't even funny. That's why I called your graph crap to your point & linked you to a graph that has much more info on it. Obviously you didn't look at so I'll post it.

Monthly averages of the sunspot numbers show that the number of sunspots visible on the Sun waxes during solar maximum, and wanes during solar minimum, with an approximately 11 year cycle. Plot is courtesy of David Hathaway, NASA MSFC.

credit NASA (our space experts)
Beyond '85 where your graph ends, sun out put is less then in '85. Also note at the last positive phase of the NAO cycle (mid 1930's) when the temps were last anywhere compariatable to today the sun output was way less. Looking at long term trends have led to graphs like this.

Your one short term graph that ends in '85 fails to convince me when looking at the recent to long term info statistically that we can blame all this on the out put of the sun.

Your aguments lack links & information & is filled with distractions, like your whole second half of your last post ~dragging the fear of tunnels in this? LOL. Plenty of good renewable energy sources are available, it will lead to a revolution that is good for the economy like the industral, computer or comunication. We could lead it & be the big winners or not, let Sweden & Europe rake in all the dough while our country goes on killing people & running up a national debt over oil. We've stepped on a rollar coaster with this grand experiment of pumping CO2 & greenhouse gases into our enviroment with no known end to how it will effect our enviroment & our species. Seems like the right thing to do is try to quit putting it up there & remove it as quick as we can. You wanna bring evil into this? What would Jesus do?

As for your closing statement~ Because as a last closing statement CO2 reading were 300 time higher in one period of time on earth, followed by a massive ice age, strangely enough a large ice came before that massive CO2 spike. Both ice ages were stopped by large geological events.

Link to some repital source of when CO2 readings were 111,000ppmv? & did humans live though this event?

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289. BahaHurican
11:23 AM EST on December 17, 2006
Hmmmm . . .. after doing some more reading on ENSO effects globally, I am finding it interesting that typical effects are not manifesting themselves as expected for this particular event. For example, someone mentioned earlier that the usual wet weather in the CA area hasn't really developed so far. Also, I have been noting an unusual rain event over the SE and S central portions of Africa, which usually experiences drier than average conditions during el Nino spring and summers . . .
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288. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:58 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
Tropical Disturbance 03-20062007 (03R)

Date 17/12/2006 12UTC (16 Reunion)

Position 10.3 South 65.5 East
Pressure at center 1002 hPa
maximum 10 min sustained winds 25kt
Movement Southwest 5 kt

expected to become a Severe Tropical Storm.. hmm stronger than Anita which they had only a tropical storm with 10 min sustained winds of 35 knots.
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287. weatherboykris
3:45 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
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286. weatherboykris
3:44 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
Pretty disorganized right now.
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285. BahaHurican
10:40 AM EST on December 17, 2006
We mentioned earlier this week the effect of El Nio on Autralia. Here is some of what I saw at BoM's website.

What has happened in Australia during previous El Nio events?

More often than not, El Nio events result in reduced rainfall across parts of eastern and northern Australia, particularly during winter, spring and early summer. However, the precise nature (where and when) of the impact differs quite markedly from one event to another, even with similar changes and patterns in the Pacific Ocean. The progress of some events was punctuated by timely rains that made a significant difference to the season.

For example, the 1982/83 and 1997/98 events were both very strong as measured by changes in the Pacific, yet their impacts in Australia were completely different. Eastern and southern Australia was gripped by severe drought in 1982/83, but in 1997 average to above average falls were common in May, and a dry spell over winter was broken by widespread and heavy rains in September. Severe drought can sometimes result from a relatively weak event, as occurred in 2002/03.

Furthermore, changes in the Indian Ocean can enhance the general tendency for reduced rainfall in eastern Australia, or mask it by contributing to timely falls.

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284. BahaHurican
10:15 AM EST on December 17, 2006
OK, trying this again.

New TD in the Indian Ocean

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283. BahaHurican
9:59 AM EST on December 17, 2006
And here is another, this time in the S. Indian Ocean. Third one since new season started. (Hope u can read French . . .)

Perturbation tropicale: 03-20062007 (Priode du 17/12/2006 au 17/12/2006)


Intensit maximale
Dernier point relev

Date UTC
(et heure locale) 17/12/2006 12UTC
(16h Runion) 17/12/2006 12UTC
(16h Runion)
Position 10.30 Sud et 65.50 Est 10.30 Sud et 65.50 Est
Nature du systme Perturbation tropicale Perturbation tropicale
Pression estime au centre 1002 hPa 1002 hPa
Vent moyen sur 10 maxi 25kt , 46km/h , 12m/s 25kt , 46km/h , 12m/s
Rafales maximales associes 35kt , 65km/h , 18m/s 35kt , 65km/h , 18m/s
Sens de dplacement Sud-Ouest Sud-Ouest
Vitesse de dplacement 5 kt , 9 km/h 5 kt , 9 km/h
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282. BahaHurican
9:53 AM EST on December 17, 2006
Geez, looks like almost the same spot on Luzon!

This reminds me of 2004 in FL, only on speed . . .
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281. philliesrock
9:54 AM EST on December 17, 2006
Trami is looking very impressive:

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280. BahaHurican
9:46 AM EST on December 17, 2006
T0623 (TRAMI)

PSTN 171200UTC 13.1N 138.2E POOR
30KT 100NM

24HF 181200UTC 14.5N 132.2E 100NM 70%
48HF 191200UTC 15.1N 125.7E 170NM 70%
72HF 201200UTC 15.3N 120.7E 220NM 70%
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279. philliesrock
9:51 AM EST on December 17, 2006
This does not look good:

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278. Frozencanuck
2:22 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
Good morning everyone. I see they have given name to the storm brewing in the Pacific. Looks like it could be another round of nasties for the poor people of the Philippines. Trami is the new name for this TD.
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277. BigBake
2:25 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
There are dips in those time periods. We have experienced a dip every 100,000 years, and in each of those dips we have seen a period of ice. We caused the massive CO2 buildup? So are you stating that ice contains no CO2? Are you stating the worlds bio mass has no contribution to CO2? Are you stating that as the earths warms normally that more CO2 is not released? I mean your chart shows that increase of CO2 before the industrial period. odd, no burning of fossil fuels then and a huge spike, in fact the same trend since twenty thousand years ago. Explain away at that same trend.
That chart I posted is from NOAA, the same people that has made that global mean temperature chart. What had changed 24 years ago? We no longer measure the suns activity from the ground. We went to satelites at that time. All those observation made on that chart are from people on the ground and corresponded with people on the ground taking temperature readings. Why did NOAA leave the new information out in 2001 when they did that chart? Because neither measurements are taken the same way any longer. So a new way to collect data means they would have to come out with a new chart. A new chart requires more data, and 24 years is not enough time to give an accurate picture from either data set. If you have taken statistics you know this to be true. The more data you put in, the lower the error rate becomes. And you surely do not combine data taken from different means and try to make a statement with it.
You want to talk money? You know the evil people behind global warming....... They are on both sides of the issue. Lets take those tunnels for example. Lets just say that someone finally has a total lapse of good judgement and convinces you and I the American tax payer that global warming is a threat and is the root cause of hurricane strength. To protect our coastlines and the people who live along them we need these tunnels... lol.. I can not even say that with a straight face. Anyways, you and I the taxpayer pay for the materials to build these tunnels. Someone has to build them, they get paid to build them. Someone has to place these tunnels into their places in the ocean, they get paid to do this. Someone gets paid to maintain them. They somehow work and generate power, someone is going to want that power, and you and I are going to pay them for it. Man it seems like there is money involved in this. in fact a lot of money. Would want to make someone politic if it had their best interest or pocket book in favor..... Really evil exists on both sides, unfortunately for the "global warming" fanatics history is not behind you. Because as a last closing statement CO2 reading were 300 time higher in one period of time on earth, followed by a massive ice age, strangely enough a large ice came before that massive CO2 spike. Both ice ages were stopped by large geological events.
276. AlexWade
2:09 PM GMT on December 17, 2006
Despite what Al Gore thinks, there was a period of time called the Medieval Warm Period when Greenland was warm enough to be farmed. I wonder if the factors that caused that are starting to occur again?
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275. pottery
9:05 AM AST on December 17, 2006
Dodabear, Do you have a link to Atlantic ocean current flows ??????????
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274. pottery
9:01 AM AST on December 17, 2006
Oh hi there bear. Yes it does seem to create a fair amount of angst. But discussion and opposing viewpoints are good I think. Look at the BBC news this morning re. European winter. Strange.......
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273. pottery
8:59 AM AST on December 17, 2006
Oh well, I'll check back later when you guys wake up. Think I'll go outside and rev up an SUV or something............Love..
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272. Dodabear
7:59 AM EST on December 17, 2006
OK Pottery, I'll stop lurking and just say good morning to you. I am almost afraid to jump in the middle of the current topic because it does seem to get people stirred up.
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271. pottery
8:53 AM AST on December 17, 2006
Ski Resorts in Europe are using snow machines to create ski-runs, and the weather in Moscow is wet and grey. No snow at all. It must be warmer than usual............or something......
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270. pottery
8:38 AM AST on December 17, 2006
Come on people. WAKE UP ITS MORNING. I cant keep things in equilibrium all by me little old self here...........
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269. pottery
8:28 AM AST on December 17, 2006
........further, is there a good link to ocean current flow rates for the Atlantic ? What is the comparitive flow rate now, compared to 1 year ago ? How do the flow rates change with surface temp ? And vice versa?? etc etc..........
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268. pottery
8:21 AM AST on December 17, 2006
So the Atlantic seems to be showing a heating-up trend. How strange. I wonder why. Couldnt possibly have anything do do with me and you...........
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267. BahaHurican
2:21 AM EST on December 17, 2006

Here is a recent radar shot from over the Bahamas. It's been raining here since about 8 pm, which is strange since the clouds are quite low lying. We didn't get a drop during all the big cloud flareups yesterday . . .

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266. BahaHurican
2:14 AM EST on December 17, 2006

That's the one I've been watching off and on all evening, the Madagascar-headed one, I mean.

Don't forget all the little islands in between. I do believe some of them are French . . . lol

I am noticing their 2006-07 season is off with a bang - 3 systems since DEC 1????

Now that EUMETSAT has moved one of the older satellites over the Indian Ocean, it is possible to get near realtime imagery from practically the entire tropical globe without having to go squinty-eyed at the edges.
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265. snowboy
4:45 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
Nice graph you posted there Skye - haven't seen that before and it scares the hell out of me every time I look at it..
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263. Astinus
4:44 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
Another typhoon in the Phillippines in about 72 hours?
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261. weatherboykris
4:40 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
Better idea,it's the clear skies.
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260. weatherboykris
4:38 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
I noticed that earlier also,Michael.I geuss there must be some sort of upwelling going on,but that normally leads to cooler SSTs doesn't it?
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257. weatherboykris
4:32 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
I'm not entering a debate,but it seems to me that there are always variations in both variables.Also,how did they get their data?
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256. LowerCal
8:29 PM PST on December 16, 2006
Skye with my browser, video driver, monitor, and eyeglasses it's very hard to see that final spike of red for the CO2. I'm posting this resized copy with a link to the original just to be sure it's clear to BigBake. Hope you don't mind.

click to view the original
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255. weatherboykris
3:59 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
My new blog is up.Happy Chanukka to anyone who celebrates.
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253. Skyepony (Mod)
3:35 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
BigBake~ I'm posting the graph since I don't think you looked at it.

If the sole reason it's getting hotter is because we are in for a magnetic flip, why no flip at 130,000, 240,000, 320,000 & 410,000 years ago? Oh yes you were really refuring to "weaknesses"

I was not inferring "flips", but in fact periods of weak magnetic fields. Also it was one of many factors I have pointed out driving the warming bus.

I've seen the research that started back in the '60's & though you can expect the world to freeze up after a flip. Overall you can't predict an average world temp by the strength of the earth's magnatism.

There is other factors that inhance & mask warming, but to throw it out there as the main cause is being blind to the red line in the graph there. That's CO2, look how it corrilates to temp. Look all the way to the right, now in time. CO2 goes up like never in 400,000 years of that graph...we did that & we should do something about it quick before temps catch up.

Here's your sun cycles it was stronger in 1979 when temps were lower then now.

Saw you quoting stuff in "View from the surface" blog from junkscience.com & Steven Milloy. You get informed & stop being a toy of oil.
The term was further popularised by Fox News columnist Steven Milloy, who used it to attack the results of scientific research on global warming, ozone depletion, passive smoking and many other topics. The credibility of the term, and of Milloy's website junkscience.com, was damaged by revelations that Milloy had received extensive funding and direction from Phillip Morris, RJR Tobacco, and Exxon Mobil.[1][2][3]

Good try with your out of date graph back there. That's like trickery, if the last 20 years had been included your point would have made no sense. I smell alterior motives.
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252. Patrap
9:05 PM CST on December 16, 2006
well if thats true then why put up a cyclone warning,,,,thats just redundant.... imean just put up the tropical storm warning.

if u ask me i would just keep an eye on things and if it got any wors tell sailors to keep docked \,,,/(-_-)\,,,/
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251. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:02 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
possible Tropical Cyclone in the southwest Indian Ocean.

no active warnings yet by the Regional Special Meteorological Center in La Reunion but the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert.
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250. Patrap
8:55 PM CST on December 16, 2006
um hey...this is patrap jr and i was wondering...........what exactly is this conversation about????? (@@)
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249. BigBake
2:56 AM GMT on December 17, 2006

That graph only shows magnetic data, you have to research glacial occurences yourself and match up with the same time periods. If you notice the left side of the chart is years in tenths of a million. At 780,000 (.78 on the chart) a large change occured, doing some research and you will find a glacial occurance at the same time period. Each large change has had a significant glacial occurance.
248. snowboy
2:32 AM GMT on December 17, 2006
BigBake, this stuff is half-baked.. The rest of us are talking apples, and you're showing us oranges. Try some more research yourself, ok?
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247. BahaHurican
8:58 PM EST on December 16, 2006
Looking at that sat pic, things are not good for Phillipines . . .

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