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News :: Environment
Rising Temps and Hurricanes Break Records in 2005
18 Dec 2005
by Michael T. Neuman
Email: mtneuman (at) juno.com
According to the National Climatic Data Center (14 December 2005), globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was warmest on record for September-November 2005. Globally averaged temperatures over land were the second warmest on record, exceeded only by November 2004's globally averaged temperature. September-November temperatures were above average across much of the earth's surface, including areas in North America, Asia, Europe and the majority of the African continent.
September-November temperatures were much warmer than average for the United States, with only the Northwest region being near average. The December 2004 - November 2005 average land surface temperature for the U.S. was much above average at 54.2°F (12.3°C), which was 1.4°F (0.8°C) above the long-term annual mean.
Wisconsin's temperatures from Dec. 2004 through Nov. 2005 were "much above normal". http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2005/nov/12-11Statewidetra
This continues a warming trend in Wisconsin which began in the early 1980s.
Across the United States, moderate to severe long-term drought persisted throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest eastward into the northern Rockiess. Meanwhile, severe to extreme drought affected areas of the Great Lakes region, where some of the worst conditions were observed in northwestern Illinois. Extreme drought also plagued areas of northeast Texas.
Long-term drought continued in parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, including southern Somalia, eastern Kenya and southeastern Ethiopia. Across southeastern Africa, long-term drought affected parts of Mozambique, southern Malawi and Zimbabwe. In Malawi, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that nearly 5 million people would need food aid until March 2006 (OCHA).
Austral spring (September-October) temperatures ranked as third warmest in Australia (behind 2002 and 1980), with a temperature departure of 0.98°C (1.76°F). Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania all had their warmest spring in the historical record.
In Sri Lanka, floods triggered by heavy rains killed 6 people and damaged thousands of homes during mid-November. Flooding affected areas that had been devastated by the tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004.
Heavy rains brought flooding in adjacent areas of southern India during the last two weeks of the month. In the state of Tamil Nadu, over 2 million people were affected by the flooding with at least 162 fatalities. Two of the worst-affected districts in the state were Cuddalore and Nagapattinam (IFRC).
Tropical Storm Gamma, the 24th named storm of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season, brought flooding and loss of life to parts of Central America.
National Climate Data Center Report:
This work is in the public domain