UPDATE:NOAA and NASA: 2010 Tied for Warmest Year in Record

January 12, 2011

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Last month NASA announced that the 2010 Meteorological Year (which ended November 30) was the warmest in the record.
Now we are getting the final tallies on the actual calendar year, January to December, and NOAA has named 2010 tied with 2005 for warmest in the record, which goes back to 1880. This afternoon, NASA announced the same result.

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The National Climatic Data Center, NCDC, has one of the most valuable pages for tracking month to month temperature anomalies across the planet.

The “warmest” designation results from computing the difference, warmer or cooler, from the “normal”  base period which in this case is considered to be 1961 – 1990.  The page also allows a reader to view monthly anomalies compared to the same month in the base period.

Looking at the map above, one thing that jumps out is the area of cooler, bluer colors over the eastern pacific, reflecting the “moderate-to-strong la nina” cooling that has been in effect since July.  Even in the face of that significant downward pressure, and while solar activity is still barely coming out of the lowest solar minimum in a century, 2010 was extraordinarily warm, following up a very warm 2009.

As USAToday noted:

It was the 34th-consecutive year that the global temperature was above average, according to the data center. The last below-average year was 1976.


Special Note from NASA to Uncle Dittohead and Aunt Teabag – who claim that winter blizzards are evidence against climate change:

A chilly spell also struck this winter across northern Europe. The event may have been influenced by the decline of Arctic sea ice and could be linked to warming temperatures at more northern latitudes.

Arctic sea ice acts like a blanket, insulating the atmosphere from the ocean’s heat. Take away that blanket, and the heat can escape into the atmosphere, increasing local surface temperatures. Regions in northeast Canada were more than 18 degrees warmer than normal in December.

The NCDC also noted that precipitation over the past year was well above the average for the same base period – whichi is no surprise to those who have been paying attention to the severe weather anomalies experienced around the globe in the last 12 months.

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One Response to “UPDATE:NOAA and NASA: 2010 Tied for Warmest Year in Record”

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