Well, it's official. According to the World Meteorological Organization 2005 was the second warmest year on record. it may tbe that in the long run, what Bush is most known for is failing to lift a finger in the face of the unfolding tragedy that is global warming.
From the Environmental New Service:
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 24, 2005 (ENS) - New data from meterologists around the world shows that 2005 is currently the second warmest year on record and is likely to be among the warmest four years in the temperature record since 1861, but the World Meteorological Organization says official figures will not be released until February.
The global mean surface temperature in 2005 is currently estimated to be +0.48 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14 degrees C, according to the records maintained by members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
If anybody needs a refresher about what the scientific community's response to this piece of information is, here are a few choice quotes from the Joint Science Scademies' statement: Global Response to Climate Change: [Signed by the heads of the Science Academies of Brazil, Canada, China,Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the U.S.]
The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for many decades. Even with possible lowered emission rates we will be experiencing the impacts of climate change throughout the 21st century and beyond. Failure to implement significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions now, will make the job much harder in the future.
We urge all nations, in the line with the UNFCCC principles4, to take prompt action to reduce the causes of climate change, adapt to its impacts and ensure that the issue is included in all relevant national and international strategies. As national science academies, we commit to working with governments to help develop and implement the national and international response to the challenge of climate change.
G8 nations have been responsible for much of the past greenhouse gas emissions. As parties to the UNFCCC, G8 nations are committed to showing leadership in addressing
climate change and assisting developing nations to meet the challenges of adaptation and mitigation.
the U.S. Federal Government definitely forgot this last bit...
Show leadership in developing and deploying clean energy technologies and approaches to energy efficiency, and share this knowledge with all other nations.
...And chillingly, remember New Orleans when you read the National Oceanographic and Aeronautics Administration's paper [Published last year in the Journal of Climate] on the effect of climate change on hurricanes
Nearly all combinations of climate model boundary condition and hurricane model convection scheme show a CO2-induced increase in both storm intensity and near-storm precipitation rates. The aggregate results, averaged across all experiments, indicate a 14% increase in central pressure fall, a 6% increase in maximum surface wind speed, and an 18% increase in average precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm center.