2006 Hottest Year on Record – So what? Part 1

Part 1 of 3 parts on this subject that I’ll post over the next few days.


The National Atmosphereic and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration released their report on the weather records of 2006 today. In that report they state “The 2006 average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was the warmest on record and nearly identical to the record set in 1998, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Seven months in 2006 were much warmer than average, including December, which ended as the fourth warmest December since records began in 1895.”

I don’t doubt that a bit, nor do I dispute it. And, I actually expected it. But (and here it comes) I don’t think it has anything to do with man made greenhouse gases. Ok, now before you send a barrage of hate mail and letters to the editor saying I’m crazy consider a couple of things I’d like to point out.

1) We have only been keeping official temperature and climate records back to about 1890, although there are spotty records dating back to Revolutionary war times it wasn’t until the US weather Bureau was formed by and act of Congress that accurate records began to be kept starting in 1895.

So we have about 110 years of records. 2006 was one year out of millions prior where we don’t know precisely what the average yearly temperature was. Should a record setting year or string of them be cause for alarm? Personally I don’t think so. We had similar temperatures during the dust bowl era of the 30’s also. We survived those too. If you only have 110 years of records, its actually quite easy to set new ones all the time. In my 25 years of TV and Radio weather reporting, I’ve reported hundreds of new temperature records, high and low. It’s no big deal. I’d also add that 2006 had some record cold temperatures too.

2) NOAA cites an interesting graph of temperature, which you can see at the top of this entry. It shows yearly average temperatures creeping up over the last 100 years. No surprise there.

If you compare that temperature trend NOAA published with that of CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere, you can see a correlation. This has been the centerpiece for everyone whom thinks global warming is caused by CO2 from human activity.

The NOAA Graph:


The CO2 versus Temperature Graph:


These line up pretty nicely, and an easy conclusion to draw would be that CO2 is causing global warming.

NEXT POST: Evidence as to why it’s just not that accurate to draw that conclusion

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January 11, 2007 9:58 pm

For anyone who want to hear what someone convinced that man is responsible for global warming has to say, tune in to Al Gore’s podcast on Social Innovation Conversations: http://www.siconversations.org/shows/detail1040.html
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While Mr. Gore is very good at being convinced and convincing others, I’d point out that he is not a scientist, but is a career politician.

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