2010: tied with 2005 for warmest year in history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:23 PM GMT on January 16, 2011

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The year 2010 was tied with 2005 as Earth's warmest year in history, according to separate calculations performed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Temperatures during 2010 were 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average. Reliable global temperature records go back to 1880. NOAA reported that the Northern Hemisphere had its warmest year on record in 2010, the Southern Hemisphere its 6th warmest, land areas their 2nd warmest, and the oceans their 3rd warmest. Global satellite-measured temperatures of the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere during 2010 were virtually tied with 1998 for warmest on record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). The 1998 temperatures were 0.01°C warmer than 2010, but the difference is so small that the two years should be considered tied for first place. These measurements are very sensitive to the effect of major El Niño events that warm the waters and atmosphere over the Eastern Pacific. Thus the 1998 El Niño--the strongest such event ever recorded--set a global lower atmospheric temperature record that had been impossible to match until 2010.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2010. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

Earth's warmest temperatures in 2010, relative to average, occurred in western Greenland and eastern Canada, where record-duration sea ice loss contributed to temperatures that were 9°F (5°C) above average for the year (Figure 1.) The coolest temperatures, relative to average, were in central Siberia, 5.4°F (3°C) below average. In addition to being the warmest year on record globally, it was also the wettest (Figure 4.)


Figure 2. The latest rankings by NOAA of the hottest years globally since 1880. Earth's ten hottest years have all come since 1998, and the decade of the 2000s was by far the warmest decade in the historical record. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.


Figure 3. Global departure of temperature from average for 1880-2010, as computed by NASA.


Figure 4. Global departure of precipitation from average for 1900 - 2010. The year 2010 set a new record for wettest year in Earth's history. The difference in precipitation from average in 2010 was about 13% higher than that of the previous record wettest year, 1956. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

A record warm year during a deep solar minimum: an unusual occurrence
The 2010 record warmth was unusual in that it occurred during a period when energy from the sun was at its lowest levels since satellite measurements began in the 1970s. The 11-year sunspot cycle causes a 0.1% variation in the amount of energy reaching the Earth. White et al. (1997) found that sea surface temperatures varied by about 0.04 - 0.07°C on time scales of 11 - 22 years due to this change in solar energy, with temperatures lagging the sunspot cycle by 1.5 - 3 years (because the ocean is slow to heat up and cool down in response.) So, although solar activity began to pick up somewhat in 2010, the 1.5 - 3 year lag in ocean temperature response meant that the record low solar activity of 2008 - 2009 was what affected global temperatures in 2010. Given that the departure of Earth's temperature from average during 2010 was 0.62°C, this difference would have been perhaps 10% greater had we been 2 - 3 years past the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. The previous global temperature record, set in 2005, occurred 3 - 5 years after the twin-peaked previous solar cycle. It is very difficult to get a record warm year during a deep solar minimum, making the 2010 record one likely to be broken later this decade as the sun begins to exert a greater warming influence on the planet.


Figure 5. During 2008 - 2009, the energy from the sun arriving at the top of Earth's atmosphere (Total Solar Irradiance, or TSI) as measured by satellites fell to its lowest value since satellite measurements began in 1978. Image credit: Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos World Radiation Center.

References
Skepticalscience.com has an in-depth discussion of Solar activity & climate: is the sun causing global warming?

Wunderground climate change blogger Dr. Ricky Rood has a comprehensive 5-part series on how the sun affects climate.

Gray, L.J., J. Beer, M. Geller, J.D. Haigh, M. Lockwood, 2010, "Solar Influences on Climate", Accepted in Rev. Geophys, 2010.

White, W.B., J. Lean, D.R. Cayan and M.D. Dettinger (1997), Response of global upper ocean temperature to changing solar irradiance, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 3255-3266.

Thunderstorms hurl antimatter into space
NASA announced this week that mature thunderstorms can produce antimatter when exceptionally powerful lightning bolts occur. The antimattter beams were detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The amount of antimatter produced is tiny, though, and probably not enough to help power a starship.

"Cap'n, we're running low on antimatter to power the warp engines. Can you fly in low over those thunderstorms to replenish our reserves? We'll use the transporters to gather the antimatter and funnel it into the antimatter containment vessel."

"OK, Scotty!"

I'll have a new post on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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625. Skyepony (Mod)
Levi~ Interesting article. Checked at some temps around here the following winter. Feb the AO could have been negative. I keep seeing the Hudson/Baffin Bay late freeze & neg AO in the same years. The warm water & lack of sea ice may be causing the miss placed high.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

The vast majority of Arctic ice that's disappeared is in the Arctic ocean between Canada and Siberia. The Gulf Stream has always done a decent job of holding ice at bay in the area north of Scandinavia. In fact, if one were to attempt a North Pole trip with the shortest over-ice component, north of Norway would be the way to go because of the Gulf Stream.


True, but then how come the GISS data set says the average land/ocean temperature in that region of the North Atlantic was near "normal" in the early 1920s, and has supposedly risen to about 1.5C above that level today, but yet ships in 1922 were sailing beyond the latitude that the average summer sea ice extent reaches in the average 21st century summer.



Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorological Institute Climate Explorer
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Quoting Ossqss:


But you did not!

I already had: Flag,Ignore, poof be-gone. Now how do I get rid of the quote without loosing the quoter?
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Quoting Ossqss:


But you did not!

And now for something completely different :)

Big dip ?

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

Yes, I did--but not before bringing it up one final time because A) my name was attached to it, B) I wanted to completely disavow any possible association with it, and C) I didn't want the author to deny making such an entry.

Thanks for posting that "something completely different". I take it you see that graph (reproduced below) which clearly show the overall trend of increasing sea levels. It's always heartening when folks pay attention to science.

Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743
Quoting Levi32:
"In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81� 29' in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus."

Here's the arctic sea ice extent during the "grand minimum" in September, 2007. 81 degrees north latitude is outlined in pink (approximate). Hmm. They were sailing from Europe, and reached farther north in areas still covered in ice even during the summer of 2007. Go figure.


The vast majority of Arctic ice that's disappeared is in the Arctic ocean between Canada and Siberia. The Gulf Stream has always done a decent job of holding ice at bay in the area north of Scandinavia. In fact, if one were to attempt a North Pole trip with the shortest over-ice component, north of Norway would be the way to go because of the Gulf Stream.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743
Quoting Xyrus2000:


The unknown unknowns?

I wouldn't use the term "forces". That could be considered misleading. The fundamental science of weather and climate are well understood and have been for decades.

That's the easy part.

The hard part are all the interactions and feedback mechanisms as you increase resolution.

A simple energy balance model will tell you that the Earth is going to warm up with additional GHG in the atmosphere. Basic thermodynamics. An 8th grader can do it (and they have). But it won't tell you how that's going to affect any given area of the planet. Nor will it take into account any feedback mechanisms such as decreasing albedo due to snow/ice melt.

If you want any meaningful information or more accurate information than just "it'll get warmer" with wide error bars on the projection, you've got get a lot more complicated, and that's where a good chunk of research has been and continues to be done. You can find papers on anything from stratospheric moisture content impacts on tropospheric temperatures to how sunrise and sunsets affect chemical transport and composition in the upper troposphere. It's actually pretty amazing how many disciplines are wrapped up into the climate science moniker.

~X~


Are you sure you are willing to make that statement? What about the fact that we still don't fully understand clouds, much less having the ability to correctly model them? What about the fact that we don't yet fully understand some of the most significant modulators of global climate such as the polar annular modes, and stratospheric/mesospheric processes that are still under study and have limited observation?
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"In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81 29' in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus."

Here's the arctic sea ice extent during the "grand minimum" in September, 2007. 81 degrees north latitude is outlined in pink (approximate). Hmm. They were sailing from Europe, and reached farther north in 1922 in areas still covered in ice even during the summer of 2007. Go figure.

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Quoting Levi32:


It sounds like they were just as shocked about changes in the arctic in the 1920s as we are today.





United States Weather Bureau, Monthly Weather Review, November, 1922


Very interesting. Where is the rest of the data series covering at least several decades and covering a wide representative area of the Arctic? If not it's nothing more than a meteorological notation for one summer for one part of the Arctic. Interesting but of little value comparing it to the knowledge we have today about the summer melting of the Arctic sea ice.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

I hope you don't mind that I'm going to ignore this ignorant, racist, and utterly bigoted piece of moronic white supremacist garbage, and its author as well.


But you did not!

And now for something completely different :)

Big dip ?

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting Levi32:


Indeed, there are likely many forces at work that have yet to be discovered.


The unknown unknowns?

I wouldn't use the term "forces". That could be considered misleading. The fundamental science of weather and climate are well understood and have been for decades.

That's the easy part.

The hard part are all the interactions and feedback mechanisms as you increase resolution.

A simple energy balance model will tell you that the Earth is going to warm up with additional GHG in the atmosphere. Basic thermodynamics. An 8th grader can do it (and they have). But it won't tell you how that's going to affect any given area of the planet. Nor will it take into account any feedback mechanisms such as decreasing albedo due to snow/ice melt.

If you want any meaningful information or more accurate information than just "it'll get warmer" with wide error bars on the projection, you've got get a lot more complicated, and that's where a good chunk of research has been and continues to be done. You can find papers on anything from stratospheric moisture content impacts on tropospheric temperatures to how sunrise and sunsets affect chemical transport and composition in the upper troposphere. It's actually pretty amazing how many disciplines are wrapped up into the climate science moniker.

~X~
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Quoting Cochise111:


Because I've spent a lot of time in the legal arena, I'll weigh in on this conversation. For one, you can't compare America's crime rate to that of other countries without some caveats. America is not a homogeneous country in terms of demographics. Second, five percent of the American populace -- just one demographic group -- (which will remain unnamed in order to preserve the peace) commits almost 70% of all violent crime in this country. Fifty percent of this group is involved in the US penal system, whether it is because they are in jail, on probation, or on parole. If we permanently locked up this five percent of our population, our violent crime stats would drop immediately by 70%. Imagine that. Also, if we factored out the crime committed by this group -- both violent and nonviolent -- America would have some of the lowest crime rates in the world. I once wrote a paper on this exact subject. All of the data was available in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). The statistics are somewhat skewed these days because of political correctness. I'm not sure if they are still separating Caucasian crime into white, non-Hispanic and white, which tends to increase the number of Caucasian crimes because of all of the Mexican and Central American gangs. Because of our willingness to import black slaves and allow our borders to become sieves, America now has some of the most violent citizens of the world. Most of them, however, are not of European origin. No matter what liberals say, guns are the great equalizer. They allow people to protect themselves against a stronger foe. Guns are used almost three million times a year in self defense, most of the time without even being fired. If you want the data on that, I can give it to you.

I'm going to ignore this ignorant, racist, and utterly bigoted piece of moronic white supremacist garbage, and its author as well. I hope everyone else does the same.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743
Quoting Neapolitan:

Just think about how much more shocked they'd have been had ice been as low then as it is now...


From that report it doesn't sound that much different from today. The described conditions are quite similar.

Of course, the early 20th century was likely to be at least a bit cooler than today due to the significant increase in total solar irradience between 1900 and 1950.
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Quoting Levi32:


It sounds like they were just as shocked about changes in the arctic in the 1920s as we are today.





United States Weather Bureau, Monthly Weather Review, November, 1922

Just think about how much more shocked they'd have been had ice been as low then as it is now...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743


Data courtesy of the Miami International Airport (MIA):

Temperature:

Mean Temperature: 68 F
Max Temperature: 73 F
Min Temperature: 64 F

Degree Days:

Heating Degree Days: 0
Month to date heating degree days: 20
Since 1 July heating degree days: 169
Cooling Degree Days: 4
Month to date cooling degree days: 69
Year to date cooling degree days: 69
Growing Degree Days: 18 (Base 50)

Moisture:

Dew Point: 64 F
Average Humidity: 87
Maximum Humidity: 100
Minimum Humidity: 70

Precipitation:

Precipitation: 0.99 in
Month to date precipitation: 0.76
Year to date precipitation: 0.76

Snow:

Snow: 0.00 in
Month to date snowfall: 0.0
Since 1 July snowfall: 0.0
Snow Depth: 0.00 in

Sea Level Pressure:

Sea Level Pressure: 29.94 in

Wind:

Wind Speed: 7 mph
Max Wind Speed: 15 mph
Max Gust Speed: 21 mph
Visibility: 7.9 miles
Events: Rain

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Quoting Patrap:
Sadly we fail to completely consider the Wildlife and other suffering induced by the Warming.
the wailing is yet to commence


this is how our world ends not with a bang but a wimper
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605. JRRP
Quoting Levi32:


It sounds like they were just as shocked about changes in the arctic in the 1920s as we are today.





United States Weather Bureau, Monthly Weather Review, November, 1922

good one!
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Quoting Skyepony:
Levi~ Why wasn't the Arctic shipping routes opening in the summers of the 1920s and 1930s like now? Weren't most glaciers melting begin way before these aligned pos?



It sounds like they were just as shocked about changes in the arctic in the 1920s as we are today.





United States Weather Bureau, Monthly Weather Review, November, 1922
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602. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Patrap:
Sadly we fail to completely consider the Wildlife and other suffering induced by the Warming.


A float tied to the underside of a halter to help with the exhaustion of keeping it's head up.. I'm part in horses & disaster handling & never heard that one.
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601. Skyepony (Mod)
Levi~ Why wasn't the Arctic shipping routes opening in the summers of the 1920s and 1930s like now? Weren't most glaciers melting begin way before these aligned pos?

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Sadly we fail to completely consider the Wildlife and other suffering induced by the Warming.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129444
Quoting Levi32:


Thanks. I thought so.

I thought so.
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Quoting bappit:

Indeed. That is so profound.


Thanks. I thought so.
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596. Skyepony (Mod)
Harrowing horse images as flooded Queensland reels - videos
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Dats cold.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129444
Quoting Levi32:


Indeed, there are likely many forces at work that have yet to be discovered.

Indeed. That is so profound.
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Quoting DEKRE:


I can't help wondering what other cycles have not been recognized.


Indeed, there are likely many forces at work that have yet to be discovered.
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591. DEKRE
Quoting Levi32:

That is likely because the ocean cycles, PDO and AMO,...


I can't help wondering what other cycles have not been recognized.
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
Quoting DEKRE:


However, it certainly didn't happen in the last 40 years
Snowfall has gone down continuously. Average 1950-1980 349 cm/a 1860-1990 336cm/a 1970-2000 316cm/a 1980-2010 301 cm/a

These are 30 year averages
Last year we had 249 cm


That is likely because the ocean cycles, PDO and AMO, have not both been aligned in their warm phases during the last 40 years at any time before 1995. The last time they were aligned that way was way back in the 1920s and 1930s. When they are both in their warm phase they surround Canada with much warmer than normal water, which floods the continent with warmer air than if only one of those cycles was in its warm phase. The AMO has the strongest effect by far on eastern Canada and Greenland. A negative AO will result in much warmer conditions when it occurs in tandem with a positive AMO.

Also, the AO has steadily fallen since its peak in the early 1990s, so it's no surprise that snowfall in eastern Canada has also fallen in that time, as a negative AO naturally reduces snowfall in that area.

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Seems too quite in here, sooo this was interesting, and seems to hit on the posturing we have been viewing lately :)

Dr. Richard Lindzen (MIT): A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action
Saturday, 15 January 2011 10:37 Richard S Lindzen


Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
588. DEKRE
Quoting Levi32:


Eastern Canada and Greenland are the areas that tend to warm up significantly when the AO is negative.


However, it certainly didn't happen in the last 40 years
Snowfall has gone down continuously. Average 1950-1980 349 cm/a 1860-1990 336cm/a 1970-2000 316cm/a 1980-2010 301 cm/a

These are 30 year averages
Last year we had 249 cm
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
Quoting breald:


Well, I am not sure why an average citizen would need a machine gun that can shoot 30 rounds in a few seconds.



Have you ever priced the cost of a single round? Over a dollar per round.

Thirty rounds...five seconds...thirty dollars...now thats a real deal...NOT.

My idea of fun is pinwheeling a quarter at fifty yards.

Last time I tried to shoot at a living animal, I missed every time. At less than fifty feet to boot.


Member Since: October 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
Quoting LoveStormsatNight:
Thank you for withdrawing that comment HaloReachFan.


;)
Member Since: September 15, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 563
Quoting MrMixon:
I have no need or desire to redirect your words -  I think your post (#502) speaks for itself.  I don't mean to single you out - I'm a semi-regular reader of this blog and I've seen many, many folks resort to name-calling and insults rather than making a substantive point.  

Look, if your goal is to change minds, you might consider a different approach.  That's all I'm saying.  I think you know exactly what I mean.


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


Consider it done.

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns.


Member Since: October 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716



A story of a dog’s dedication to its family, following their deaths last week in Brazil. Translated from Fohla.com:

The former street-dog Caramelo helped rescue the bodies of its owners, whose were killed during last week’s rains, then did not want to leave the makeshift grave of his owner.

It lived with its owner, Cristina Cesário Maria Santana, and three other people in a house of the Caleme quarter, one of the most devastated in Teresópolis. The house was destroyed and the family died. The dog escaped, but dug for them until finding them.

When the rescue teams arrived, Caramelo guided them to the bodies. Caramelo was rescued, but did not want to leave the grave of its owner and now he is very depressed and needy.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129444
583. flsky
The ISS and the Solar Eclipse
Link
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hey halo how ya doing
do you like it here
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Quoting DEKRE:


Interestingly enough, here in Quebec we usually have about 2 m of snow by mid January and a meter on the ground. This winter, as last, we can admire our lawn.


Eastern Canada and Greenland are the areas that tend to warm up significantly when the AO is negative.
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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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