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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Trend: "It's Gittin' Hot In Herre (So Take Off All Your Clothes)"

Nelly+Pharrell were onto something! It actually is getting hot in here.

Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City noted that the highest global annual average surface temperature in more than a century was recorded in their analysis for the 2005 calendar year. Some other research groups that study climate change rank 2005 as the second warmest year, based on comparisons through November. The primary difference among the analyses, according to the NASA scientists, is the inclusion of the Arctic in the NASA analysis. Although there are few weather stations in the Arctic, the available data indicate that 2005 was unusually warm in the Arctic, according to a Jan. 24 statement.

Previously, the warmest year of the century was 1998, when a strong El Nino, a warm water event in the eastern Pacific Ocean, added warmth to global temperatures. However, what's significant, regardless of whether 2005 is first or second warmest, is that global warmth has returned to about the level of 1998 without the help of an El Nino.

The result indicates that a strong underlying warming trend is continuing. Global warming since the middle 1970s is now about 0.6 degrees Celsius (C) or about 1 degree Fahrenheit (F). Total warming in the past century is about 0.8° C or about 1.4° F.

Most ocean areas have warmed. And because these areas are remote and far away from major cities, it is clear to climatologists that the warming is not due to the influence of pollution from urban areas.

via Global Temperature Trends 2005 at

Ok, so this may not be the news scoop of the decade...

But consider UK's Guardian report of a concept for CARBON TRADING.


In a few years from now you will have another plastic card in your wallet - your carbon card. You will start the year with 1,000 points on it and each time you fill up your car, you put the card in a slot on the pump and it will deduct a few points.

Each time you buy an airline ticket, it will cost you a minimum of 100 points. If you fly regularly, you may have to buy more points through the carbon market - but since it is all in the cause of reducing greenhouse gas emissions you do not mind so much.

An environmentalist's pipe dream? Not at all, but a scheme put before parliament 18 months ago in a private member's bill sponsored by Colin Challen, the Labour MP for Morley & Rothwell.

Mr Challen hopes that a national scheme will be in place by 2009, and along with 44 other MPs he is working to reduce his own carbon emissions by 25% by 2010 as an example of how individuals need to start doing their bit on climate change.

"The idea is picking up speed but it is a radical one and needs to be widely debated,' he said.

AKI COMMENT: While I am no treehugger and I unapologetically appreciate a good bacon cheeseburger(mmmm, bacon), I gotta admit, some changes are in order on planetary depletion. I personally like the idea of individuals taking responsbility for their own carbon emissions (particularly if industry is gonna pay their fair share of the bill, too, right?). His points trading economy is interesting, particularly as he says many in the poorest 30% of households would stand to gain from trading carbon points. Those who do not want or cannot afford to go for holidays in the sun could sell their allowances on the market to be snapped up by frequent flyers. Probably some utupian holes throughout this schema, but, it is a good start.

Get the scoop at,,1693804,00.html#article


eferch said...

I don't mean to rant here... but, agreed. While the ONLY reason I know Apirl 22 is earth day is because it's the day before my birthday, I think this is a smart idea. Time to start making people and businesses responsible. If you're an avid business traveler, your company should have to fork over the coin to subsidize your gaseous emissions. Analogous to smoking in the sense of addressing the "people should be able to do whatever they want, it doesn't impact you" quip, pollution is having an increasingly damaging impact on society, and society at large is having to pay for it. Shouldn't those parties responsible pay up front in order to subsidize the back end clean up? Of course, I could be wrong.

El Gaffney said...

or we can keep doing what we're doing, and soon enough we won't have to fly for sunny vacations, we'll be living them daily. question: will you corporations have their own emissions cards so i don't get penalized for my biz travel? and if so, i can still collect the miles, right? confession: i still use hairspray in an aerosol can... + moose (but i don't think that's bad... for the environment at least)

eferch said...

I burn old Mc'DLT containers over open fires. Where do I need to go,

I'm keeping my real estate in minnesota. This is going to be a hot bed once the heat wave makes the south uninhabitable and the melting polar ice caps bury both coasts. I'm telling ya, Mpls is going to be the new LA and the new New York.

MNels said...

I may as well be the environmental skeptic here. Of course we should constantly ratchet up pollution standards. However, I could point out that 14,000 years ago Minnesota was a glacier. Unless the ancient tribes of Minnesota had secret coal-fired power plants, it was a natural phenomenon. There have been many such rapid changes in climate over time entirely unrelated to humans. Any amount spent "fixing" them would have been pointless. My point is not that we do nothing, but many of the suggestions out there would radically effect the world economy. The more economically developed our society becomes, the more resources we can put towards environmental issues (we pollute less as % GDP than almost any other country). Would China be forced to trade carbon credits? Would crippling their development help them develop cleaner plants? If we excluded them, would it unfairly advantage their economy? Finally, who would we grant the power to set our "credits"? The government? Dick Cheney? The UN? (shudder)

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

well, here is a more INFORMED PERSPECTIVE courtesy of Santa: