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The Earth Getting Warmer and Warmer

Posted February. 11, 2005 22:53,   


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) predicted on February 10 that the year 2005 would be the hottest or the second hottest year since the first measurement of the Earth’s temperature was made in the latter part of the 19th century.

So far, the earth’s average temperature in 1998 was the warmest, with 2002, 2003 and 2004 coming in second, third and fourth, respectively.

Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said that the year 2005 would be the hottest year in history, primarily due to two reasons.

Hansen forecasted that the Earth`s surface would absorb more of the sun`s energy, due to the buildup of greenhouse gases and steam, which leads to El Nino that warm the waters in the Central equatorial Pacific Ocean, and that this pattern would occur more often in 2005.

Hansen also said that over the last 30 years, global warming has persisted, and that global climate changes are being driven in large part by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases are usually derived from the industrialization processes and primarily are carbon dioxide, sulfurous acid gas and nitrous oxide. Greenhouse gases have recently been pointed out as one of the main culprits in global warming, not allowing the absorbed the Sun’s energy to get reflected back into space.

The N.Y. Times reported that the human-made greenhouse gases play a bigger role in global warming than natural events like El Ninos.

The average global temperature of 2004, the fourth hottest year, was 14 degrees, 0.48 degrees higher than the average from the years 1951 to 1980. The average temperature of the hottest year, 1989, was 14.54 degrees.

According to a study by Professor Anders Moberg of Stockholm University in the latest issue of the science magazine “Nature,” “About 1,000 years ago, before industrialization began, the temperature once rose to the level of the average temperature of the 20th century. This spike in temperature in medieval times is in stark contrast to the existing assumption in which there were relatively small changes in Northern Hemisphere temperatures over time before until global warming.”

Hye-Yoon Park parkhyey@donga.com