18 November 2010

NOAA-2010 tied for warmest year on the temperature record.

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Last week, NASA released the October data and today the National Climate Data Center (NOAA) has released their independent analysis.

This past October was the 8th warmest globally, and 6th warmest looking at land temperatures only.

What will actually make the news is the January through October temperatures. They are tied with 1998 as the warmest on record. With La Nina acting to cool the planet right now, this is truly amazing. I wrote about NASA’s data release here.

So why was 1998 the warmest? Aren’t greenhouse gas levels higher now?

The answer is the super El Nino that developed that year. It was the strongest on record. All that warm water in the Pacific made the planet as a whole warmer.

Increasing greenhouse gases will warm the planet but at the same time there are other climate oscillations.  You can see this in action in the graphic below. The best physics available says the long term trend is, and will continue to be, toward the hotter.

October temperatures from 1880-2010.

The entire report released today is here.

If you want to know the methods used to put this together, along with an expert analysis of it, watch this video (below) of NCDC director Dr. Tom Karl. It will take you an hour but you will be much more informed at the end of it.

These reports come out monthly and I will post a quick summary of November’s temperatures in mid December.