NOAA reports 2010 hottest year on record so far

Summer 2010 the second warmest on record; hottest August in RSS satellite record*

Following fast on the heels of NASA reporting the hottest January to August on record, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center  has released its State of the Climate: Global Analysis for August.

NOAA reports the details (and the graphic):

The first eight months of 2010 tied the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record worldwide. Meanwhile, the June-August summer was the second warmest on record globally after 1998, and last month was the third warmest August on record. Separately, last month’s global average land surface temperature was the second warmest on record for August, while the global ocean surface temperature tied with 1997 as the sixth warmest for August….

  • For January-August 2010, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 58.5 F (14.7 C) tied with 1998 as the warmest January-August period on record. This value is 1.21 F (0.67 C) above the 20th century average.
  • The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for August 2010 was the third warmest on record at 61.2 F (16.2 C), which is 1.08 F (0.60 C) above the 20th century average of 60.1 F (15.6 C). August 1998 is the warmest August on record and 2009 is the second warmest….
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June-August 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998, at 61.3 F (16.2 C), which is 1.15 F (0.64 C) above the 20th century average of 60.1 F (15.6 C).
  • The June-August worldwide land surface temperature was 1.80 F (1.00 C) above the 20th century average of 56.9 F (13.8 C) “” the warmest June-August on record, surpassing the previous record of 1.66 F (0.92 C) set in 1998.
  • Still warming….

    UPDATE:  The RSS satellite data for the month is out and August 2010 just beat up 1998.

    And again, 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:

    Related Post:


    17 Responses to NOAA reports 2010 hottest year on record so far

    1. Peter Bellin says:

      Thank you for the update, Joe.

      Some time ago, I asked why some temperature anomalies used different base periods for comparisons, and I am not sure if Joe was able to respond. I found the answer in NASA Q&A:

      8.Why do some of the products use different reference periods?

      The maps show temperature anomalies relative to the 1971-2000 base period. This period is used because it has the widest distribution for historical data, which enables more resolution (detail) for comparing region-by-region effects. For the global-scale averages (global land and ocean, land-only, ocean-only, and hemispheric time series), the reference period is adjusted to the 20th Century average for conceptual simplicity (the period is more familiar to more people, and establishes a longer-term average). The adjustment does not change the shape of the time series or affect the trends within it.

      (Apologies to Joe if this is too OT for the blog.)

    2. MapleLeaf says:

      Reposted form another CP thread:

      “Joe, the latest RSS data are (finally) out.

      Globally, the temperature anomaly in the lower troposphere (TLT) was the warmest in the satellite on record at +0.583 C. August 1998 was the next warmest at +0.573 C. Globally the (long term) rate of warming is now +0.163 C/decade.

      The global TMT anomaly (mid troposphere) for August 2010 was +0.453 C, the second warmest in the satellite record.”

    3. dyuane says:

      It sure is the hottest year. I don’t remember a summer that has been so hot. It is extreme hot during the summer and the winter is extreme cold. Good article.

    4. Esop says:

      Pretty impressive since we have La Nina conditions, a negative PDO and a solar minimum.

    5. catman306 says:

      More heat equals more weather energy and so another extreme event of sorts:

      Karl hits the Yucatan; two simultaneous Cat 4s in the Atlantic for 2nd time in history
      (nice satellite image)

    6. Steve Bloom says:

      Joe, Jeff Masters notes in this morning’s post:

      This morning’s unexpected intensification of Hurricane Julia into a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds has set a new record–Julia is now the strongest hurricane on record so far east. When one considers that earlier this year, Hurricane Earl became the fourth strongest hurricane so far north, it appears that this year’s record SSTs have significantly expanded the area over which major hurricanes can exist over the Atlantic.

      This expansion of the box for majors was not a consensus prediction of hurricane meteorologists, but is consistent with Kerry Emanuel’s hypothesis of much-expanded tropical cyclone activity as the climate warms.

      I don’t think you’ve ever featured this stunning track plot comparison from a recent paper testing Kerry’s hypothesis by modeling hurricane activity in early Pliocene (note that two years of activity are included to better show the track spread), but this might be the season in which to do it.

    7. John Lake says:

      Thanks for the explanation Peter Bellin. I googled and here is the link:

    8. catman306 says:

      Maybe those bankers never gave much thought coal’s relationship to global warming.. They need education, reeducation, or removal. Whose World Bank?

    9. JeandeBegles says:

      Catman: thanks a lot for the 2 storms satellite image. This morning on the french France Culture radio, we had to listen to a respected french geograph (Sylvie Brunel) teachning us that the scientists are just wrong (because they are catastrophist!) and that the sky is not going to fall on our head.
      We need such strong images as a wake up call for action.

    10. Whatshisname says:

      Would be interested in reading what you or other scientists have to say as the data on Tropical Storm Hermine rolls in. As you know, Hermine was still a tropical storm as it passed through Texas’ Flash Flood Alley. What you may not know is that it still somehow managed to fool forecasters and technology with a surprise flood. It wasn’t Taylor/Thrall, but Central Texas meteorologists have termed it historic. That’s a lot to say in a region which holds one-half of the world’s short-term rainfall records.

      Flash floods occasionally duck under the radar down here. However, this one also seems to have gotten past the vast flash flood warning system blanketing the region. Survival accounts from outside the flood plain alone attest to Hermine’s unusual suddenness. It’s hard to say we were lucky when seven persons are dead, but we were lucky.

    11. Colorado Bob says:

      This is how they treat their friends?
      A meeting between students and Obama administration officials about solar panels on the roof of the White House leaves a sour taste.

      By Bill McKibben,0,7330781.story

    12. Ed Hummel says:

      To Colorado Bob about the White House solar panels: politicians always act like politicians and that’s the problem as far as I can tell. Nothing’s going to change as long as politicians are concerned with being re-elected. I voted for Barack Obama after seriously considering writing in Dennis Kucinic because I saw glimpses of something positive and real. However, since then I decided I should have written in Kucinic. I can’t believe that with people he’s appointed as his science advisors that he doesn’t fully understand the stakes for not taking strong action on climate change including using the bully pulpit to push the climate bill the last few months before it died. The only thing I can think of is that he’s a consumate politician and is making political calculations so that he can somehow keep a Democratic Congress and then get re-elected in 2012. That might have been understandible 30 years ago, but we have run out of time for such fooling around now! I think Bill McKibben ran up against the reasons we’re currently going “down the tubes”. As long as our elected officials behave like politicians rather than statesmen and women (and ignore their political futures!), nothing is ever going to get done to change our direction and we’re all doomed to face the coming catastrophes. Ironically, I think that an increasing number of Americans are fed up with the political posturing and that’s why so many are being duped into joining the tea party movement. They’re looking for alternatives, but aren’t educated enough to recognize legitimate ones. I still think Obama has the skills to turn things around if he forgets about re-election and just does what he has to. Such actions might even lead to his re-election afterall once enough people see that he’s actually telling the truth about our future for a change. One has to be an adult to be eligible to vote, and I think most voters actually would prefer to be treated as adults for a change. Lincoln and FDR treated Americans as adults and got us through the two biggest national crises since the Revolution, and ironically, they were both superb politians who knew how to make politics work for the people. It’s time that Mr. Obama and all those in his administration did the same.

    13. Button Broken says:

      I’d like to share this, but the +share button is broken on this and other pages.

    14. Michael says:

      I thought that it was interesting that so far this year, GISS has had relatively fewer record warm months and/or lower rankings than others, especially the satellite records. Not only that, the GISS anomaly for the past few months has been lower than RSS, and that isn’t factoring in the base period difference, which results in GISS anomalies being about 0.2°C lower (0.33 for August for the 1979-1998 base period – which is also lower than UAH).

      The discrepancy is probably because more of the warmth this year has been at lower latitudes, since GISS covers the polar regions (the NOAA map pretty much excludes Antarctica, for example).

      This should temper the arguments that GISS is “flawed” and shows too much warming, although the inclusion of the polar regions, which are warming fastest, does result in a higher trend, unless they are relatively cooler, and also that the satellite data shows less warming, (excluding UAH – but even that does have long-term warming), but notable still that anomalies adjusted to the same base period have been warmer than GISS recently. I myself was surprised when the July data came out and GISS didn’t have a record-smashing anomaly (e.g. around +0.80, or 0.2 warmer than RSS, 1951-1980 base period), considering RSS and UAH data and all of the record heat waves.

    15. Steve Bloom says:

      Michael, the satellite data sets run warm during El Ninos, so the fact that they’ve been running warm relative to GISS isn’t a surprise. For the remainder of the year we can expect them to drop relative to the surface data sets.

    16. Michael Tucker says:

      NRDC says not to expect nighttime relief from summer heat waves.

      The Worst Summer Ever?
      ‘Dark Side of Climate Change’ Seen in Record Setting Night-time Temperatures

      “…nighttime lows were the hottest ever recorded at nearly one in four weather stations in NOAA’s Historic Climatology Network. This means that at 278 stations the average nighttime low temperatures for June, July and August 2010 were hotter than at any time since 1895.”

    17. Many thanks for this posting. I am only starting to really education myself about climate change because of a dear friend of mine. She has become so alarmed by what she’s witnessed in terms of climate change over the summer and the effect it is having on the melting polar ice caps, that she is actually travelling to the North Pole this week to raise awareness. (We live in Toronto.) She is a singer and while there, she is going to become the first performer to ever put on a show there. (Not many to listen except the polar bears! But it will make great footage to bring back.) If you are interested in learning more about her trek, her name is Parvati and she is from Canada. . Thank you again for this vital information.