What a Difference A Year Makes: 2006 Was a Very Warm Year
NOAA just released their 2006 weather summary for the United States and it is quite something to compare the average yearly temperature map to that from last year.
As Devilstower noted, this is the first year that NOAA has connected the 2006 weather to the phenomena of global warming caused by the greenhouse gases humans are emitting into the atmosphere and the current El Niño.
The unusually warm start to this winter reflected the rarity of Arctic outbreaks across the country as an El Niño episode continued in the equatorial Pacific. A contributing factor to the unusually warm temperatures throughout 2006 also is the long-term warming trend, which has been linked to increases in greenhouse gases. This has made warmer-than-average conditions more common in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is unclear how much of the recent anomalous warmth was due to greenhouse-gas-induced warming and how much was due to the El Niño-related circulation pattern. It is known that El Niño is playing a major role in this winter's short-term warm period.
U.S. and global annual temperatures are now approximately 1.0 degrees F warmer than at the start of the 20th century, and the rate of warming has accelerated over the past 30 years, increasing globally since the mid-1970s at a rate approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend. The past nine years have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the contiguous U.S., a streak which is unprecedented in the historical record.
Now that Bush's administration is officially admitting that humans activity is contributing to global warming, perhaps we will see the naysayers start to realize that they've been simply played for fools by Exxon-Mobil who is ironically now cutting ties to the global warming skeptics as they help come up with regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions. Evidently, Exxon-Mobil has also seen the light, just like the Bush administration.