2005 hottest year on record

February's Global Temperature Spike is a Wake-Up Call

By Steve Sherwood, UNSW Australia and Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Global temperatures for February showed a disturbing and unprecedented upward spike. It was 1.35℃ warmer than the average February during the usual baseline period of 1951-1980, according to NASA data.

This is the largest warm anomaly of any month since records began in 1880. It far exceeds the records set in 2014 and again in 2015 (the first year when the 1℃ mark was breached).

In the same month, Arctic sea ice cover reached its lowest February value ever recorded. And last year carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere increased by more than 3 parts per million, another record.

What is going on? Are we facing a climate emergency?

Hot Time -- Bad Timing

Three days ago, it was revealed that Stephen Harper was joining George W. Bush in a North American death wish by withdrawing from the Kyoto process. 

Yesterday, NASA scientists announced that 2005 had topped 1998 as the hottest year on record.  In fact, one NASA researcher said it was likely that 2005 may have been the warmest in several thousand years.  While the rest of the world scrambles to patch together the barest beginnings of a survival strategy, it seems clear that the alternative path blazed by the US and Australia, a followed by India, China and now Canada is becoming the non-stop route to climate hell.

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