Unusual Weather We're Having, Ain't It?*
Number-crunchers say 2006 on track to be the sixth-hottest on record.
As 2006 bubbles to a close, it's measuring in as the world's sixth-hottest year on record. Britain is the warmest it has seen since veritable wenches were hoisting tankards of grog (er, since records began in 1659), and the third-warmest in the U.S.'s Lower 48 since 1880.
Weird weather has gripped the globe this year, from rainy Africa to droughty Australia (fatally ablaze in the grip of a timeless dry spell) and China. According to the U.K. Meteorological Office, the 10 hottest years on record have been in the last 12 years, and scientists say it ain't no coincidence. Yes, the globe has warmed and cooled over time, but the last 50 years don't fit natural patterns, and most say human behavior is to blame.
"I cannot see how else this can be explained," said U.K. climate researcher Phil Jones, who noted that changing weather patterns fit climate-model forecasts. Adding to the grim vibe, a study published in Science says sea level rise due to global warming could be 59 percent higher than previously thought.
Oh, waiter! Another grog all around, and sprightly, if you please.
straight to the source: The New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 15 Dec 2006
straight to the source: The Guardian, Ian Sample, 14 Dec 2006
straight to the source: New Scientist, Catherine Brahic, 14 Dec 2006
straight to the source: BBC News, 14 Dec 2006
*(c&p, from Grist.org e-mail; with minor edits)
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