You weren’t imagining things, 2007 really was an unseasonably hot year. In fact, it was tied with 1998 for the second hottest year on record. All in all, the 8 warmest years have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years since 1990. This mini-record was announced by NASA climatologists this week.
Researchers from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies used temperature data from weather stations on land, satellite measurements of sea ice temperatures since 1982 and data from ships for earlier years.
“As we predicted last year, 2007 was warmer than 2006, continuing the strong warming trend of the past 30 years that has been confidently attributed to the effect of increasing human-made greenhouse gases,” said James Hansen, director of NASA GISS.
Perhaps the most warming occurred up in the Arctic and high latitude regions of the planet, where vast regions of ice melted away. In fact, the Northwest Passage opened up for the first time, and scientists are predicting that the region could be ice free in the Summer in less than a decade.
The lower ice levels in the Arctic provides more open water and reduces the amount of sunlight reflected back into space. This is expected to increase the rate of warming.
Let’s hope 2008 isn’t so hot.
Original Source: NASA News Release