Last year was the fourth warmest since systematic temperature measurements began around the world in the 19th century, NASA scientists said yesterday.From the Sunday Times (UK):
Particularly high temperatures were measured over Alaska, the Caspian Sea region of Europe and the Antarctic Peninsula, while the United States was unusually cool. But the global average continued a 30-year rise that is "due primarily to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," said Dr. James E. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in Manhattan.
The main source of such gases is smokestack and tailpipe emissions from burning coal and oil.
The highest global average was measured in 1998, when temperatures were raised by a strong cycle of El Niño in the Pacific Ocean; 2002 and 2003 were second and third warmest.
Dr. Hansen said a weak Niño pattern was likely to make 2005 at least the second warmest year and could push it beyond 1998 and set a record.
The outgoing chairman of Shell [Lord Oxburgh] has announced he wants to take up a post with a climate-change charity when he quits the oil giant later this year ***
Lord Oxburgh is so concerned at the potential destruction from global warming that he wants to devote more of his time to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels. ***
He believes it is only through taxation, regulation and new technology that the world can have any hope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A magical kingdom where executives leave oil companies to try to stop climate-change, rather than where they join the Bush administration in its drive to further line their pockets by keeping our nation ever-dependent on fossil-fuels.