2008: Ninth warmest year on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:05 AM GMT on January 21, 2009

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The temperature statistics are in, and the year 2008 ranks as the ninth warmest year for the globe on record, making it the coolest year since 2000, according to an analysis compiled by NASA. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center rated 2008 the eighth warmest on record, and the British Climate Research Unit rated it tenth warmest. NASA noted that given the uncertainty in the measurements, a range of 7th to 10th warmest was reasonable. Global temperature records extend back to 1880. December 2008 was also the eighth warmest December for the globe on record.

The average global temperature the past five years (and the last ten years) is the highest on record. The top ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the past twelve years. So, despite the impressive cold blast in the Eastern U.S. this winter, the global climate is warming. The relatively cool temperatures of 2008 probably represent a normal year-to-year fluctuation in the weather. Cool weather is to be expected globally during a strong La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, which was present during the first part of 2008 (see the cool blue colors over the Equatorial Pacific in Figure 1). It is no surprise that the last year it was cooler, 2000, was also the last time we had a La Niña event. With La Niña conditions beginning to develop again this year, I'd be surprised if 2009 turns out to be a record warm year. Dr. James Hansen of NASA is predicting a new global record temperature either this year or in 2010, though.


Figure 1. Global temperature anomalies in 2008 compared to the 1950-1980 baseline period. Below-average temperatures are shown in blue, average temperatures are white, and above-average temperatures are red. (Gray indicates no data.) Most of the world was either near normal or warmer than normal. Eastern Europe, Russia, the Arctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula were exceptionally warm (1.5 to 3.5 degrees Celsius above average). The temperature in the United States in 2008 was not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 cooler than all of the previous years this decade. Large areas of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean were cooler than the long-term average, linked to a La Niña episode that began in 2007. The graph shows the long-term trend in surface temperatures since 1880. The annual average temperatures are shown in light orange, and the jaggedness of the line indicates how much the average global surface temperature varies from year to year. Because climate is so variable from year to year, it can be easier to spot long-term trends through multi-year averages. The dark red line shows the five-year running average, which is an average of five years of annual temperatures centered on a given year. Even this five-year average shows that climate has ups and downs, but the long-term increase in global average surface temperatures is obvious. The gray barbells indicate the range of uncertainty. Not surprisingly, the uncertainty is larger for older measurements than for more recent ones. Image credit: NASA.

A cool and snowy December in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., December was the 35th coolest December, ranking it in the coldest 30% of all Decembers observed since records began in 1895. December 2008 had near-average precipitation, ranking 43rd wettest. It was the 8th wettest December on record in the East North Central U.S., and 9th wettest for the Central U.S. Only the South experienced below average precipitation during the month. For the year 2008, temperatures in the U.S. were not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 the coolest year since 1997. U.S. records set in December 2008 (courtesy of http://extremeweatherguide.com/updates.asp):

Spokane, WA: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 19.4", 12/17-12/18
Spokane, WA: All-time single storm snowfall: 23.3", 12/17-12/18
Sandpoint, ID: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Jackson, WY: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Fargo, ND: Snowiest month on record: 33.5"
Spokane, WA: Snowiest month on record: 61.5"
Green Bay, WI: Snowiest month on record: 45.6"
Madison, WI: Snowiest month on record: 40.4"
Wausau, WI: Snowiest month on record: 37.6"
Idaho: All-time 24-hour state snowfall record set at Dollar Hide, 46.5", 12/26-12/27 (not confirmed)

At the end of 2008, 20% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is a decline from the 28% of the U.S. that was under similar drought conditions at the end of 2007. The average precipitation for the U.S. in 2008 was 30.48 inches, which is 1.34 inches above average. 2008 was the wettest year on record for New Hampshire and Missouri, second wettest for Massachusetts, and third wettest for Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa. Also, 2008 was the fourth wettest year for Indiana, fifth wettest for Maine, Michigan, and Vermont, seventh wettest for New York, and eighth wettest for Kansas and Rhode Island.

Next post
Check out Ricky Rood's latest blog, called Cold in the East: A rant. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the media right now about climate change, and Ricky and I will be doing our best to try to explain what is fact and what is crap in the coming weeks. I posted one such discussion last week, when I showed that the recent claims that sea ice is back to 1979 levels were a clever bit of cherry picking of the data that hides the critical summertime loss of Arctic sea ice. I'll have a new blog post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting GulfPoet:



oh come now Shep. be nice.
Remember we have not quite finished Atlas Shrugged yet. ;)
Which chapter now?
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
GulfPoet

Just checked on your blog - Was glad to see you are working on Chapter 3

I also see that you have turned your blog over to GW - you are a brave person. Should be fun

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Quoting TampaSpin:
I feel sorry for the Press Secretary for Obama right Now....He is getting drilled right now and he's is scrambling for words...wow

It will take a while to get up to speed, I would imagine. No doubt the press can be vicious.
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Quoting theshepherd:
Yeah, but David Gregory isn't going for the throat like he has in the past.


Gregory is a pupet to the Agency he represents and works for.......NO SURPRISE is it......LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting TampaSpin:
I feel sorry for the Press Secretary for Obama right Now....He is getting drilled right now and he's is scrambling for words...wow
Yeah, but David Gregory isn't going for the throat like he has in the past.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
RE:567. GulfPoet

Yikes! Let me rephrase that:
Instead of No man's ambition should be to be "Common" (I had not considered that the term ambition is often equated with corporate greed)

Perhaps this is more apt:
No child's dream should be to be "Common"

It is those who follow on their dreams that become the excellent parents, the poets, the future mets.

It is those who figure out how to get water to the village, or supplies to victims of Ike, who think outside the box, while others remain in the box.
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567 gulfy
"But, I'm just a poet"?
That's your opinion.
Tired Marxist ramblings maybe.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
I feel sorry for the Press Secretary for Obama right Now....He is getting drilled right now and he's is scrambling for words...wow
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting GBlet:
mmmmmm...Guacamole
UMMM is right! Raised on those Fl avocados (grandfather had groves down in South Florida) and they are sure yummy.....Buy local! LOL
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
Quoting GulfPoet:
Cuba would have been a suburb of Miami many many years ago without the Embargo, and the Castro brothers probably Hotel owners on the beach.

Agree with you there, GulfPoet

Please read my modification to post 561
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563. GBlet
It's puff puff pass Gulf...
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CA avocados are itty, bitty things compared to the FL avocados. Hass do taste better though!

it's quality...not quantity...

;)
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Quoting GulfPoet:
there once was a man named Hugo
he think he tell us all ....where - You go
a short little man
round in the middle
who liked to hear his own fiddle.

and yes his brother Fidel
these days was not feeling so well.
but soon the cigars
of beautifal Havana
will be smoked
in the land of the free


the scotsman did then write a poem
and dropped it in blogs where he roamed

about the powerful nation
that stretched out it's hand
to Fidel and that little round man


and a wonderous thing
began like spring
when the people started to sing

you see if you live in fear
you will soon disapear
or at least get flown back to Crawford

but if you imagine a dream
of the common man
sharing the hopes that we have

you will soon understand
you will fast overcome
Fidel and that Little Round Man
From your lips to God's ears - Still those with the name Hugo have created enough problems for us.
Can lead a horse (or ass) to water - but you can't make him drink.
Wouldn't mind visiting Crawford, wouldn't want to live there.
No man's ambition should be to be "Common"
MODIFIED
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559. GBlet
mmmmmm...Guacamole
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Quoting NRAamy:
California Avocados are better....

:)
CA avocados are itty, bitty things compared to the FL avocados. Hass do taste better though!
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
557. GBlet
KEH, you will probably need to look online as they are a little tough to find.
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I just updated my Weather Blog if anyone would like to view.....it has a Super Bowl Forecast!

TampaSpins Weather Blog Link
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
KEHCharleston

(looking around...ummm)
(backs off the soapbox)
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Quoting GBlet:
Actually KEH, we are home to Fuller brush, so we can get brushes of all sorts and their brand name cleaners. I mainly meant convenience foods, that's where the horror lies. Corn is so much prettier on the cob than out of a box. My kids thought I was the coolest mom around for letting them have fresh popcorn for breakfast. Took alot of flack from other parents for feeding my kids junk food.


Amen to that!
I will look for Fuller products.
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Quoting NRAamy:
California Avocados are better....

:)

They are bigger
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552. GBlet
Actually KEH, we are home to Fuller brush, so we can get brushes of all sorts and their brand name cleaners. I mainly meant convenience foods, that's where the horror lies. Corn is so much prettier on the cob than out of a box. My kids thought I was the coolest mom around for letting them have fresh popcorn for breakfast. Took alot of flack from other parents for feeding my kids junk food.
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California Avocados are better....

:)
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Quoting NRAamy:
no Mexico? You'll buy from Central and South America, but not Mexico?


I was thinking of Mexico as Central America
I definitely buy from Mexico - love the avocados grown there.

Also include the Caribbean/Bahamas as well.

In fact - just say the Americas!

Except Venezuela - I am not speaking to Chavez ;)
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no Mexico? You'll buy from Central and South America, but not Mexico?
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For me BUY LOCAL means
1) Local Market - if not available then
2) South Carolina - if not available then
3) Southeast USA - if not available then
4) USA - if not available then
5) Canada,Central & South America; Great Britain - if not available then
6) Countries that do not already own a large amount of our economy

The less energy used to transport goods the better it is for all of us
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Quoting GBlet:
I prefer to buy real food versus made in U.S. We tend to do terrible things to our food. I grow everthing I can try to stay away from conveniece foods.

I hear you - I do not have a green thumb (or any land - just a porch), but whenever possible, I buy from local farmers.
In addition, we are lucky as some of the grocery stores here sell local produce. I disagree that food produced in the USA is less safe food produced else where. I know that I can eat grapes from California, but the grapes from Chile make me sick. I suspect it is whatever is used to keep them fresh through shipping etc.
My test is this: I buy a some "fresh" produce, leave it in the fridge for about 5 days. If it does not look like it is going bad, I do not eat it -- and I do not buy that brand anymore. - 'Cause that just ain't natural. Try it with the grapes from Chile - see what I mean?

But it not just meats and produce.

What the South Carolina Ocean Caught Shrimping Industry wants you to know
Friends Do Not Let Friends Eat Imported Shrimp
Say No To Drugs - Do Not Eat Imported Shrimp

Besides you do not manufacture toothbrushes, dish detergent, clothes, paper etc in your hometown - but when you buy these you can read the label.

BUY LOCAL
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546. GBlet
Not really into Indie movies, I prefer facts over fiction.
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545. GBlet
I'm hoping for a better season weather wise this year. Had a very hard time getting tomatoes to mature. Every 3 or 4 years we get a wacy season and either melons or tomatoes suffer.
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544. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Don't understand why Jakarta won't release tropical cyclone outlooks..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45302
543. GBlet
I prefer to buy real food versus made in U.S. We tend to do terrible things to our food. I grow everthing I can try to stay away from conveniece foods.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
542. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Madagascar might get Gael as well..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45302
RE:MADAGASCAR: Cyclone double whammy The short of it is that although hit hard (flooding was quite bad), they were prepared
Quoting GBlet:
Where does that leave us folks in the middle?
Asleep?
Quoting GBlet:
For some of us buying local does not work. All of the beef and grains are trucked out leaving us to pay shipping and handling to buy back. Not to mention closet major shopping is 50+ miles in any direction. But if I needed farm equipment I can get all I need right here...
I understand that it just is not always feasible. However, some everyday products in your grocery store are made in USA, I just suggest that you read labels.

BUY LOCAL
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536. GBlet 9:22 AM PST on January 22, 2009
For some of us buying local does not work. All of the beef and grains are trucked out leaving us to pay shipping and handling to buy back. Not to mention closet major shopping is 50+ miles in any direction. But if I needed farm equipment I can get all I need right here...


you can always hunt for fresh meat...
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533. GBlet 9:18 AM PST on January 22, 2009
Has anyone seen Mikey yet today? Personally I think he has spent too much time staring at those crystal skulls.


did he buy that last Indian Jones DVD? lame...
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can't see the photo, Gulf....
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536. GBlet
For some of us buying local does not work. All of the beef and grains are trucked out leaving us to pay shipping and handling to buy back. Not to mention closet major shopping is 50+ miles in any direction. But if I needed farm equipment I can get all I need right here...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
535. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number EIGHTEEN
TEMPETE TROPICAL MODEREE FANELE (07-20082009)
16:00 PM Réunion January 22 2009
===========================================

At 12:00 PM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Fanele (994 hPa) located at 25.2S 50.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The storm is reported as moving southeast at 15 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale-Force Winds
=================
40 NM from the center extending up to 75 NM in the southern semi-circle and between 60 NM and 90 NM in the northeastern quadrant within a peripheral band

Near-Gale Force Winds
======================
55 NM from the center extending up to 100 NM in the northeastern quadrant, up to 120 NM in the southeastrn quadrant, and up to 130 NM in the southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 27.0S 51.5E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Moderée)
24 HRS: 29.3S 52.7E - 35 knots (Devenant Extratropical)
48 HRS: 32.1S 56.2E - (EXTRATROPICAL)
72 HRS: 34.1S 60.9E - (EXTRATROPICAL)

Additional Information
========================
The system is tracking again oversea since yesterday at 21.00 PM UTC when it left Malagasy as a tropical disturbance, at about 80 kms south of Farafanga (23.5S 43.6E). The system still has a good tradewind inflow but stays however in the northern edge of a northwesterly upper level jet. This jet could make some good poleward outflow but could generate little shear constraint in the same time which is expected to be limitant.

Most of the available NWP models are in good agreement with the forecast track.

************************************

FOR YOUR INFORMATION : EXTRATROPICAL DEPRESSION [1000 HPA] 45 KNOTS GUSTING TO 50KT. EX-ERIC IS CENTERED NEAR 38.0S 69.1E MOVING SOUTHEASTWARDS AT 50KT.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45302
533. GBlet
Has anyone seen Mikey yet today? Personally I think he has spent too much time staring at those crystal skulls.
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532. GBlet
Where does that leave us folks in the middle?
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no that stupid high out west did it

Hey! We're not all high out west!

;)
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Quoting KEHCharleston:

:) Looking forward to your blog update, Tampa

BUY LOCAL


Yep your 100% on buy local.....i have been going out to eat at the mom and pop cafes and dinner spots.....my wife and i have had fun going at the local owned little spots....secondly its great food.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting TampaSpin:


I try to always jump out of the middle but, often enough i'm made to get up on the Right side then the wrong side.

: )
Looking forward to your blog update, Tampa

BUY LOCAL
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Quoting KEHCharleston:
Tampa - from which side of the bed did you rise this morning?

GulfPoet- I know what you are thinking so I will say if for you. He must he must have risen from the right

Patrap - Great links - thanks
(will need to re-organize links as well as stock up for 'Tropical Season')


I try to always jump out of the middle but, often enough i'm made to get up on the Right side then the wrong side.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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