2007: Tied for Hottest Year on Record So Far

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported today that “the global surface temperature for the combined January-May period tied with 1998 as the warmest January-May on record.” (And 1998 was the warmest year on record.)

May was the fourth warmest on record (the warmest ever over land) and followed on the heels of a warm April. So spring was very warm over most of the planet. Temperature anomalies are shown on the dot map below. The redder it is, the hotter it is.

For the spring, much of Siberia is a stunning 5°C (9°F) above average. This is worrisome because

  • Siberia contains probably the world’s largest amount of carbon locked away in the permafrost.
  • The permafrost is increasingly not so perma.
  • Much of that carbon would be released as methane, which is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The NCDC reports other climate extremes for the year to date:

Finally, the NCDC continues to note that planetary warming is accelerating:

During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11°F (0.06°C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32°F (0.18°C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

We are running out of time to act.

12 Responses to 2007: Tied for Hottest Year on Record So Far

  1. Royston Vasey says:


  2. beefeater says:

    Hottest driest since the dust bowl years of the ’30s. What was going on then to cause that? How did the earth come out of the last ice age without human intervention? What ever happened to “GLOBAL COOLING”?

  3. Joe says:

    No. Hottest on record. Sorry.

    The climate can change slowly on its own, or rapidly if we push it hard, as we are now.

    Global cooling from human-made sulfate aerosols was drowned out by global warming from human-made greenhouse gases, as many people predicted more than two decades ago.

  4. John says:

    I’ve noticed that the melting of the arctic ice pack is 2 weeks ahead of where it was just 3 years ago. That’s an awful lot of melting! The news in September is definitely not going to be good.

  5. Nick says:

    John, can you give a link to back up that statement? I’m just curious…

  6. I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem like you can call 2007 the hottest year on record just because it ties with the previous record holder. Wouldn’t it have to exceed the previous record to gain the superlative?

  7. Joe says:

    Note the headline: “Tied for Hottest”

  8. says:

    This is news.

    However, the headline is very misleading and overstates the case. I never understand why people take a defensible argument and make it indefensible. That’s a great way to get people to ignore what you’re saying.

  9. Joe says:

    Please explain in what way the headline misleads or overstates the case.

  10. DennisA says:

    Perhaps because GISS have just altered their figures to put 1934 as the hottest in the US. No announcement though, you would think this should have been given some prominence.

  11. jerry says:

    I think the last couple of weeks and the months that will follow will push 2007 to the top. I have no doubt this has been the longest heat spell in recent times, possibly the hottest summer on average, and will by December probably become officially the hottest year on record…
    wake up people!

  12. bruce says:

    I think that the US should be pushed to stoping most of our waste, and pass a bill that makes you recycle and limits your waste. Consumers are to greedy, and consume to much. Switch light bulbs to a lower watt, drive less turn heat and ac on only when needed are some of the was you can be helpful. Stress this to your kids to be sure to turn lihts off when not in use. Think we all can make a difference.