NASA reports hottest January to August on record

August tied for hottest in UAH satellite record*

Last month, NASA reported it was the hottest January-July on record, along with a terrific analysis, “July 2010 — What Global Warming Looks Like,” which noted that 2010 is “likely” to be warmest year on record.

This month continues the trend of 2010 outpacing previous years, according to NASA:

It seems all but certain we will outpace 1998, which currently ties for fourth hottest year in the NASA dataset (though it is technically described by NASA folks as tied for the second hottest year with 2005 and 2007).

Outpacing 2005, the hottest year on record, will be closer.  In NASA’s surface-based dataset, we are unlikely to set the record monthly temperatures for the rest of this year; last month wasn’t close to the hottest August for NASA.  We  have entered a moderate La Ni±a, which NOAA says is “expected to last at least through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2010-11.”

Interestingly, while the disinformers have been breathlessly touting the La Ni±a as sure to cool things down rapidly, global temperatures have held up quite well, even in the satellite datasets, which are typically sensitive to the El Ni±o Southern oscillation (ENSO).  The more trustworthy RSS data for August is not yet up, but even the UAH data for the lower troposphere shows August 2010 having almost an identical temperature to 1998, which was the hottest August on record.

And here is Roy Spencer’s much rejiggered UAH satellite data showing how warm it has been in early September — comparing 2010 lower trososphere temperatures (green) with average temps (blue) and record highs since 1979 (purple):

UAH 9-10

John Christy’s email caveat to me remains worth repeating — see After the hottest decade on record, it’s the hottest year on record, hottest week of all time in satellite record* and we may be at record low Arctic sea ice volume: “Please be aware that the values displayed have not been completely calibrated for the entire period (this has to do with some matching between the two different channel weighting functions through the annual cycle that is done in our normal processing at the end of the month but which is not done on the day-to-day chart you show.)  Improving the daily chart is work that is on-going.”  Well, until they fix it or take it down, people are still going to use it.  But as I said before, I no longer think that the UAH satellite dataset should be relied on for monthly comparisons.  Roy Spencer et al. are simply rejiggering and adjusting the data too much.  This might all be legit, but if NASA or NOAA tried something like this, Watts and McIntyre and Spencer would be trashing them daily.  And Spencer and Christy simply have not earned anybody’s trust about this sort of thing (see “Should you believe anything John Christy and Roy Spencer say?“).  So I await the RSS data.

NASA’s surface-based temperature record is most likely the most accurate, as I’ve noted many times (see Finally, the truth about the Hadley/CRU data: “The global temperature rise calculated by the Met Office’s HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming”).

Finally, the record warmth that we are seeing this year is all the more powerful evidence of human-caused warming “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect,” as a recent must-read NASA paper notes:

It is just hard to stop the march of human caused global warming — other than by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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19 Responses to NASA reports hottest January to August on record

  1. Colorado Bob says:

    Current temp at 7:53 AM Barrow Alaska – 48 F.

    Max Temperature Current 48 °F Average 37 °F Record 52 °F (1997)

  2. From Peru says:

    NASA stunner: maybe reducing black carbon is not a “magic bullet” after all:

    “Does Heating from Black Carbon Increase Cooling from Clouds?”

    From the press release:

    “Global model studies of soot effects on clouds do indeed find a variety of cloud responses, with increased clouds in some regions and decreased clouds in others. Most of the global model studies indicate that the net cloud response to absorbing particles is cooling. This suggests the need for caution when pursuing mitigation of soot in order to cool climate.”

    link to the paper here:

  3. Esop says:

    The deniers are literally sweating, nervous that 2010 will beat their beloved 1998 record (UAH). The comments over at semi-denialist sites like Blackboard reveal a lot of head scratching over these temperatures as well.

  4. peter whitehead says:

    This is only true if you hold the thermometer with the zero at the bottom and the 100 at the top. It is only a matter of opinion that it should be held in that way. Bias against reverse thermometers is a conspiracy by scientists.

    I expect a reversist Tea Party Anti-scientist will soon threaten to burn the NASA temperature record.

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    It drives me bats*** that the deniers have turned short-term temp fluctuations into a horse race. Of course, focusing on weather instead of climate, and leaping to unwarranted conclusions based on their cherry picking, is all they have. Sadly, it works well enough with the vast majority of voters and consumers, who haven’t studied this material and don’t want to hear bad news, anyway, that we have to fight these pointless skirmishes even though the outcome of the war, in a BAU world, is a foregone conclusion.

    I always recommend that people look at the long-term temp record, such as the NASA/GISS graphs that go back a century, more or less:

    As a brief exercise, look at some of those graphs and imagine what the deniers would have said at various conveniently chosen times in the last 50 or 70 years about how the prior decade had shown a dramatic global cooling, etc., and how laughably wrong they would have been shown to have been in the ensuing decade or so. In particular, imagine the conversation at the tail end of the 1940-1975 period, and look at what global temps have done since 1975.

    Deniers (by which I mean “skeptics” who have demonstrated an unwillingness to learn anything about climatology) are nothing but greedy, myopic, charlatans. We need a stronger term for them, but Joe wouldn’t approve of my mentioning here the first few that leap to mind.

  6. Deniers call us warmists. Not too bad.
    They are not using the science in good faith, they are trying to obfuscate real science by tearing it apart and then throwing out bits and pieces… like flack.

    But it’s weird, they throw out the basic principles, but think they’re so smart to point out uncertainties in some minute detail.

    And maybe the truth is finally winning out

  7. And over the warm Atlantic Ocean, hurricane Igor intensified from Cat. 1 to Cat. 4 hurricane extremely rapidly, wind 135 mph, pressure drop of 38 mb in 9 hrs!

  8. cr says:

    Beam Me Up Scotty at @6

    I wonder if Mr. Booker wants some cheese with his whine?

  9. Will Koroluk says:

    Meanwhile, governmental muzzles are in place on some scientists–at least in Canada. Take a look at

  10. ozajh says:

    Question for the group.

    Does rotten ice reconsolidate really quickly during the autumn/winter freeze?

    (I’m trying to get my head around the significance of Ice Extent/Ice Area differentials, and whether this significance varies according to the time of the year.)

  11. This, in from John Lefebvre, “The Supreme Court tells us one may not yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. Which causes me to wonder if one may not cry “Fire” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire, why then may he yell “There is no fire” when there is?”

  12. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    ozajh @ 12 It may take more than a few minutes, but try Neven on Arctic Ice.

  13. BBHY says:

    Beam Me Up Scotty,

    That’s ok, the Earth itself is a warmist!

  14. Esop says:

    UAH sea surface temperature is headed straight up. Looks like the 2010 La Nina SSTs are due to surpass the 2009 El Nino fueled SSTs in a matter of days. Scary.

  15. Peter says:

    It seems at this point- many nations and even US States have resigned themselves to the reality that there will be no reduction of CO2 in the near to midterm future.

    It seems now that a 2 degrees C rise is inevitable. In response the new word is ‘adapt & prepare’ rather then ‘prevent’. This of course will hopefully change as more radical elements of CC begin to change the fabric of society.

  16. Mr February says:

    Umm, I think the new words are really ‘adapt, prepare, suffer and suffer some more’.

  17. sailrick says:

    ozajh @ 12

    Speaking as a layman, it occured to me that this anecdote may shed some light, at least on ‘why’ the ice might freeze rapidly.
    I spent a summer commercial fishing in Alaska, in the Gulf, starting in Sitka in May. I was at about 60 N Latitude, around the Kenai Peninsula in July and August. The first week in Sept was spent in Southeast Alaska, near Sitka.
    I knew the sunlight went from maybe 21 hours in summer to maybe a few hours in winter. But it wasn’t until I experienced it, that it occured to me how fast the days have to change in Fall and Spring to accomplish that. The daily rate of change in sunlight is astounding as you move into September, at least to someone from a more temperate area. And it must be more pronounced in the Arctic.