2005 to be one of the hottest years recorded

This year will go down as one of the hottest on record. NASA’s Goddard Institute says 2005 will beat 1998, the current record-holder, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.K. Meteorological Office — using the same land and ocean data as NASA, but crunching it in slightly different ways — say 1998 will still be the champ by fractions of a degree. The three agencies stress that although they reached minutely different conclusions, it’s definitely getting warmer on planet Earth, and human activity is part of what’s rapidly unbalancing the climate. The World Meteorological Organization, meanwhile, is waiting for the year to end before it makes the call. But all four groups agree that 2005 was the steamiest year on record for the Northern Hemisphere. “It’s certainly something the administration is taking seriously,” says NOAA climate chief Jay Lawrimore. We wonder what data set he used to reach that conclusion.