2007: Second Warmest Year on Record

In case anyone had any doubts, I present this news from the Earth Policy Institute:

Northern Hemisphere Temperature Highest Ever

Frances C. Moore

With the record for 2007 now complete, it is clear that temperatures around the world are continuing their upward climb. The global average in 2007 was 14.73 degrees Celsius (58.5 degrees Fahrenheit) — the second warmest year on record, only 0.03 degrees Celsius behind the 2005 maximum. January 2007 was the hottest January ever measured, a full 0.23 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record. August was also a record for that month, and September was the second warmest September recorded.

Looking at the northern hemisphere alone, 2007 temperatures averaged 15.04 degrees Celsius (59.1 degrees Fahrenheit) — easily the hottest year in the northern half of the globe since the record began in 1880, and more than a degree warmer than the 1951–80 average…

(Entire text available here. Data available here. Index of Earth Policy Institute resources related to Temperature and Climate here.)

The way this month has gone, including last night’s failed Nor’Easter (see Brooklyn Junction’s proposed temporary — we hope! — ban on the term), 2008 may prove to be the new hottest January. While it is difficult to imagine how this trend can be reversed and what we as individuals can do, the aforementioned Earth Policy Institute offers direction based on their vision of a sustainable economy. What’s the weather got to do with the economy? “Eco-Economy Indicators are the twelve trends the Earth Policy Institute tracks to measure progress in building an eco-economy. Taking the earth’s temperature tells us about the relative health of the planet.” (Well, yes!) The EPI website has videos, podcasts, and a library of articles with the appropriate mix of urgency, guarded optimism, and concrete suggestions:

The Earth’s capacity to support the economy continues to deteriorate. The gap between what we need to do to arrest the deterioration of the Earth and what we are doing continues to widen… Somehow we have to turn the tide. The purpose of the Earth Policy Institute is to provide a vision of what an environmentally sustainable economy will look like and a plan for how to get from here to there.

Highly recommended.

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