Winter has been world's warmest on record


One of Us
Oct 7, 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- This has been the world's warmest winter since record-keeping began more than a century ago, the U.S. government agency that tracks weather reported Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the combined global land and ocean surface temperature from December through February was at its highest since records began in 1880.

A record-warm January was responsible for pushing up the combined winter temperature, according to the agency's Web siteexternal link.

"Contributing factors were the long-term trend toward warmer temperatures, as well as a moderate El Nino in the Pacific," Jay Lawrimore of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center said in a telephone interview from Asheville, North Carolina.

The next-warmest winter on record was in 2004, and the third warmest winter was in 1998, Lawrimore said.

The 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.

"We don't say this winter is evidence of the influence of greenhouse gases," Lawrimore said.

However, he noted that his center's work is part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change process, which released a report on global warming last month that found climate change is occurring and that human activities quite likely play a role in the change.

"So we know as a part of that, the conclusions have been reached and the warming trend is due in part to rises in greenhouse gas emissions," Lawrimore said. "By looking at long-term trends and long-term changes, we are able to better understand natural and anthropogenic [human-caused] climate change."

The combined temperature for the December-February period was 1.3 degrees F (0.72 degree C) above the 20th century mean, the agency said.

Lawrimore did not give an absolute temperature for the three-month period, and said the deviation from the mean was what was important. He did not provide the 20th century mean temperature.

Temperatures were above average for these months in Europe, Asia, western Africa, southeastern Brazil and the northeast half of the United States, with cooler-than-average conditions in parts of Saudi Arabia and the central United States.

Global temperature on land surface during the Northern Hemisphere winter was also the warmest on record, while the ocean-surface temperature tied for second warmest after the winter of 1997-98.

Over the past century, global surface temperatures have increased by about 0.11 degree F per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976 -- around 0.32 degree F per decade, with some of the biggest temperature rises in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
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One of Us
Apr 28, 2000
I just spoke with my girlfriend in Park City and she said that its been up to 70 degrees in her lingo. I converted that and its over 20 degrees .......

I looked at the Deer Valley website and it was close to that today and warmer tomorrow.

Carveman can you confirm? Thats dam hot. They should make some deer valley ski school boardies if thats the case :p I was instructing in a polo shirt for a week or so during my short season and I think it was just pushing 50F.
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Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Recon said:
I should probably post this in weather, but someone sent me this today and it got me thinking about the coming winter season's possibilities and also this thread:,23599,21405781-2,00.html
We are constantly finding new data to add to the complexitites of weather and climate!!!

"DROUGHT-BREAKING rains across eastern Australia have been predicted in new modelling by a scientist who believes massive pulses in the sun's magnetic field are helping to drive the Earth's climate systems.

If proven, the research will make the prediction of floods and droughts in Australia far more reliable and influence models projecting future climate change.

Robert Baker, from the University of New England, claims to have found a strong relationship between the rhythmic pulsing of the sun's magnetic field and weather systems, particularly in the southern hemisphere. "

Very interesting, if correct!!!
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Mostly missing in action...
Apr 18, 2000
nowhere in particular...
Hmm, i wonder exactly how the sun's magnetic field can influence the weather systems on Earth?

Something to do with the way the the fields affect how charged particles move? What about earth's own magnetic field?
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Pool Room
Ski Pass
Mar 14, 2011
Sandy, given that water in all it's forms has no charge, I'd say this is evidence of a scientist including 'climate change' in the title to get funding. Nothing wrong with that but don't jump to the wrong conclusions. I'm happy to entertain new ideas but for heavens sake!


Hard Yards
Apr 26, 2005
Don't be too quick to dismiss anything, is my general thinking.

We already know that the sun's magnetic field can have a significant impact on the earth (look up the current Dst Index or the ACE Real Time Solar Wind data for obvious examples; increased atmospheric drag, changes in the composition of the atmosphere due to H/N/O loss in magnetic storms, etc). The research isn't suggesting that it directly influences water in some way, it's simply saying that the magnetic fields can produce an effect on our weather systems.

Given that the sun is the major "energy input" for the earth and the weather systems, and given that the sun has cycles (such as the its 11 year solar cycle and the associated changes in energy output) and other processes that aren't well understood, it's entirely reasonable to suggest there's more work that needs to be done regarding what influence the sun's magnetic field has on the planet (which is exactly what the researcher says in the article). The research has a lot of existing foundations - it's not just an idea that has been plucked from nowhere without basis.

This publication discusses related effects if you have time to read it:
(click the GET button next to "Get low/high resolution PDF image" to view the entire article as a PDF)

It's fascinating stuff!
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Pool Room
Ski Pass
Mar 14, 2011
I don't dismiss anything without more than a seconds thought. There are ways it could possibly affect weather but the conditions would have to be right - eg cloud condensing nucleii (CCN) could be affected by magnetism (I'm not sure). But that is an issue that affects the weather as an indirect effect of magnetism that requires other factors to be in place - ie magnetism is not the cause but it is the possible effect it has on other factors that might contribute.

1. What are the differences between the equator and the poles and the strength of the suns magnetic field. How does this affect rainfall closer to the equator?
2. Is the magnetic effect of the sun limited to the solar wind and cosmic radiation - thus having no direct effect on our weather.
3. What about the changes in levels of pollutants that were much higher before the 70's that acted as CCN.
4. Is this theory just another variant of the one put forward by Svensmark, Singer and Avery - and many others?

The sun is by far the largest driver of our climate - I have no argument with that. Many of the theories by the authors above may be onto something but the important links still haven't been made IMHO that would change my view. The data just doesn't back it up yet.

This makes sense and goes a lot further to explaining it rationally.
The winter temperature is more variable than the temperature in other seasons in most of Europe. The record mild winter of 2006/07 has been caused mainly by predominantly (south)westerly winds, which brought mild oceanic air to the continent. This raised the temperature by almost 3 degrees in Holland and large pasrts of eastern Europe in December and January. Global warming has added 0,4°C since 1971-2000 in the Netherlands (1°C since tone hundred years ago). In Denmark persistence from the high November temperatuers also played a role. Together these factors explain most of the anonamously high temperatures.
The probability of these circulation patterns is fairly low if we assume that the wind climate does not change, less than once in 100 years in the Netherlands. However, over the last 30 years there seems to have been a systematic shift towards more southwesterly wind directions. This is associated with a trend towards higher air pressure in the Mediterranean area. The same pattern of air pressure increases is simulated by most of the climate modles that were selected for the KNMI '06 scenarios. However, the modelled increase in air pressure is weaker than the observed increase. The difference can be due to random fluctuations in the weather, but also indicates that we do not yet understand the reaction of the atmospheric circulation to global warming, both from a theoretical and from an observational point of view. The KNMI has therefore constructed scenarios both without much changes in circulation (G and W) and with more westerlies in winter (G+ and W+).
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