A commenter asks: “By the way, I wonder when we’re going to get a warmer year than 1998?”
NASA’s GISS team answers today with some updated numbers: “The year 2005 may have been the warmest year in a century, according to NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world. ”
No surprise here, as the GISSers said the same thing a month ago based on Dec.-Nov. numbers. And I’m hesitant to hang too much on a single year, whether it’s 1998 or 2005, given both the issue of ENSO variability (El Nino years tend to be warmer) and the fuzzy error bars on the numbers that make an explicit “record” hard to pin down. What matters more is the underlying trend. But since you asked….