The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced yesterday that 2006 was the hottest year on record in the United States.

The reason why was explained deeper in the NOAA press release: The buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

The New York Times today delves into the significance of the federal acknowledgement. It appears that the Bush Administration is warming to the idea of global warming. The Interior Department recently proposed listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Now this.

Reporter Andrew C. Revkin writes:

[NOAA’s] shift in language came as a surprise to several public affairs officials there. They said they had become accustomed in recent years to having any mention of a link between climate trends and human activities played down or trimmed when drafts of documents went to the Commerce Department and the White House for approval.

Our most recent story on climate change’s local impacts is here.


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