Breaking: Both NOAA and NASA data show 2010 tied with 2005 for hottest year on record

2010 was also the wettest year on record

NASA 2010

In 2010, global temperatures continued to rise. A new analysis from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies shows that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, and was part of the warmest decade on record. [The anomaly is versus the 1951 to 1980 baseline.]

UPDATE:  NASA has just released its analysis of the 2010 temperature data here, which finds:

Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record….

To measure climate change, scientists look at long-term trends. The temperature trend, including data from 2010, shows the climate has warmed by approximately 0.36°F per decade since the late 1970s. “If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long,” said James Hansen, the director of GISS.

The record temperature in 2010 is particularly noteworthy, because the last half of the year was marked by a transition to strong La Ni±a conditions, which bring cool sea surface temperatures to the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

These records are also especially impressive because we’ve been in “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.”  It’s just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, other than by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is.

Today, scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center also released their State of the Climate Global Analysis Annual 2010.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration news release is here, which reports:

According to NOAA scientists, 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record, beginning in 1880. This was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average….

According to the Global Historical Climatology Network, 2010 was the wettest year on record, in terms of global average precipitation….

NOAA has this nice list of the top 10 hottest years on record:

Hottest years

All 12 of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1997.

NASA recently reported the “meteorological year” “” December to November “” was also the hottest on record.  NASA is all but certain to also find calendar year 2010 will be the hottest on record or tied with 2005.  The myth that we haven’t warmed since 1998 was rightly the winner of The 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award.

Not surprisingly, the hottest year was accompanied by record-smashing weather extremes — see The year of living dangerously. Masters: “The stunning extremes we witnessed gives me concern that our climate is showing the early signs of instability”Munich Re: “The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change.”

Meteorologist and former NOAA Hurricane hunter Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground reported, “The year 2010 now has the most national extreme heat records for a single year-nineteen. These nations comprise 20% of the total land area of Earth. This is the largest area of Earth’s surface to experience all-time record high temperatures in any single year in the historical record.”

Relatedly, Roy Spencer reports that according to the 43-year UAH satellite record for the lower troposphere:

As far as the race for warmest year goes, 1998 (+0.424 deg. C) barely edged out 2010 (+0.411 deg. C), but the difference (0.01 deg. C) is nowhere near statistically significant.

Finally, the linkage between hottest year and wettest is no surprise.  As NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth explained last year:

“I find it systematically tends to get underplayed and it often gets underplayed by my fellow scientists. Because one of the opening statements, which I’m sure you’ve probably heard is “Well you can’t attribute a single event to climate change.” But there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future.”

UPDATE:  The NASA release notes:

A chilly spell also struck this winter across northern Europe. The event may have been influenced by the decline of Arctic sea ice and could be linked to warming temperatures at more northern latitudes.

Arctic sea ice acts like a blanket, insulating the atmosphere from the ocean’s heat. Take away that blanket, and the heat can escape into the atmosphere, increasing local surface temperatures. Regions in northeast Canada were more than 18 degrees warmer than normal in December.

The loss of sea ice may also be driving Arctic air into the middle latitudes. Winter weather patterns are notoriously chaotic, and the GISS analysis finds seven of the last 10 European winters warmer than the average from 1951 to 1980. The unusual cold in the past two winters has caused scientists to begin to speculate about a potential connection to sea ice changes.

“One possibility is that the heat source due to open water in Hudson Bay affected Arctic wind patterns, with a seesaw pattern that has Arctic air downstream pouring into Europe,” Hansen said.

UPDATE 2:  Rather lamely, the Wall Street Journal piece on the NOAA release quotes one of the leading misleaders, John Christy, who is always handy with a misleading quote:

The latest finding was seen by some as further evidence of a link between human activities and global warming.

“In my mind, it reinforces the notion that we’re seeing a signal from increasing greenhouse-gas emissions,” said David Easterling, a researcher at NOAA. “If that weren’t a fact, we’d see temperatures tapering off and cooling, but we’re not seeing that.”

Not all scientists agreed. John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said natural long-term variability in climate, rather than greenhouse-gas emissions, could play a greater role in warming the planet.

In addition, Dr. Christy said, “If greenhouse gases are causing warming, the climate system is not very sensitive to carbon dioxide because the warming is not very dramatic.”

Uhh, no.  We have this big La Ni±a and are just coming off a record solar minimum.

Dr. Christy helped develop a global temperature data set based on satellite measurements going back to 1979. His approach indicates that 1998 was the warmest year. Dr. Christy noted that despite disagreement about the rate at which the earth is warming, most scientists agree that global temperatures are, indeed, rising.

Actually, Dr. Christy screwed up their satellite-based global temperature measurements for over a decade (see “Should you believe anything John Christy and Roy Spencer say?“).

In July, an international study by 300 scientists concluded that the Earth has been getting warmer over the past 50 years and that the past decade was the warmest on record. Those conclusions broadly matched the findings of the most recent report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2007.

Well, thank you WSJ for that, but it’s not clear why you give less space to hundreds of leading scientists than you do to one long-wrong one.

Related Post:

73 Responses to Breaking: Both NOAA and NASA data show 2010 tied with 2005 for hottest year on record

  1. Peter M says:

    Interesting. December it seems killed the chance for being the warmest.

  2. Esop says:

    Wow, so warmest year despite the lowest solar activity in more than 100 years, a mediocre and short lived El Nino, a very strong La Nina (as evidenced by the extreme Australian flood), and not to forget, the almost incomprehensible cooling power of the negative PDO.

    To top that off, record amounts of extreme weather events, in the warmest year on record. What a strange coincidence.

    It was pretty cold in parts of Europe for a few weeks, though. (but very warm now, strange that the press doesn’t report on that).

  3. Michael T. says:

    Here are the Annual and December reports for the U.S.

    State of the Climate National Overview – Annual 2010

    In 2010, the contiguous United States (CONUS) average annual temperature of 53.8 degrees F (12.1 degrees C) was 1.0 degrees F (0.6 degrees C) above normal, and was the 23rd warmest year on record. Since 1895, the CONUS has observed a long-term temperature increase of about 0.12 degrees F (0.07 degrees C) per decade. Precipitation across the CONUS in 2010 was 1.02 inches (25.9 mm) above the long-term average (LTA). Over the long-term, precipitation averaged across the CONUS, is increasing at a rate of about 0.18 inches (4.6 mm) per decade.

    December 2010 National Overview

    Temperature Highlights
    •The national temperature, when averaged across the contiguous U.S., was near normal in December, only 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) below the long-term average.
    •Regionally, temperatures in the Southwest (2nd warmest) and West (10th warmest) climate regions were much above normal. In contrast, much below normal temperatures dominated the Southeast (3rd coldest) and Central (9th coldest) climate regions.

  4. john atcheson says:

    I have always wondered why these temperatures are calculated agains the 1971-2000 average, when substantial warming had already occurred. It has the effect of understating how serious the temperature rise has been, which to me is like a self-inflicted hot foot.

  5. Esop says:

    #4 (John): Good point. Moving the base period to include a long period of anthropogenic warming lowers the anomaly.

  6. Esop says:

    2011 will be very interesting. Could it be the first La Nina year to set a record for warmest year? Probably not, but it will most likely be warmer than what the coolists/deniers like.
    2012 should be pretty brutal.

  7. Daniel Ives says:

    RE Esop,

    Dr. Hansen has a similar prediction that 2012 could set another record, with a few caveats based on how long the La Nina lasts.

  8. Esop says:

    #7 (Daniel):
    True. Wild cards are ENSO and possible volcanic eruptions.
    Note that Dr. Hansen predicted 2010 to break the record back in 2008, when the deniers were frothing at the mouth, predicting a continuation of the La Nina induced slump and rapid cooling due to predicted catastrophic Global Cooling (cGC).
    Note also that Dr. Hansens correct prediction is very rarely reported in the MSM, and there is also pretty much no mention of the failed denier cooling predictions, despite the fact that they were all over the news and web back in 08.

  9. Michael says:

    I expect that NASA will have 2010 as solidly the warmest year on record, because it was so warm in the Arctic – don’t forget that NOAA doesn’t factor this into their figures (as their maps show). As an example, December 2009 was globally about 0.2°C cooler according to NOAA because of the “warm Arctic-cold continents” pattern (the NH alone was 0.6°C cooler and land was only the 45th warmest).

    Of course, December 2005 had a similar pattern (not as extreme though) as the past couple Decembers, so it somewhat cancels out the differences between NASA and NOAA.

  10. dbmetzger says:

    and this story from India is likely partially caused by global warming…
    Farmers’ Suicides Continue in India
    Mounting debts, international competition and climate change are all being blamed as the reasons for a rising number of Indian farmers who are taking their own lives. Official figures say at least 17,000 farmers committed suicide in 2009.

  11. Daniel Ives says:

    Re #8 Esop,

    Indeed we’ll be lucky to see the 2010 global temperature tie/record reported by the MSM at all, let alone the fact that a leading scientist predicted it correctly. I have only been following climate science for a few years, so I don’t know how the MSM reacted back in early 2006 when it was revealed that 2005 set a new record. Even so, I suspect that the 2010 temperature will get minimal, if any, reporting. If anything it could get mentioned sarcastically since the Northeast US has been dumped on this winter (entirely consistent with climate predictions). The deniers will just laugh it off and say “NASA/NOAA say it’s a record setting year for global temperatures, but look at all the snow! Those silly scientists.” It’s sad, but let’s wait and see if the MSM picks up the story or not.

  12. Daniel Ives says:


    Did you have any bets going on 2010’s temperature? I think I remember you had one about arctic sea ice, but I don’t recall if you had a global temperature one.

    [JR: No, it’s not a good idea to make bets on individual years, temps or ice.]

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    The event over night north of Rio , the death toll is now at 109 . A month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

    TERESOPOLIS, Brazil — Days of flooding and mudslides have left at least 109 people dead in southeast Brazil, with a mountainous region near Rio de Janeiro bearing the brunt Wednesday.

  14. Prokaryotes says:

    “According to NOAA scientists, 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record”

    Apparently, this is not enough for major headlines in the mainstream media. Let alone a discussion on how to prevent further acceleration of DANGEROUS, CIVILIZATION DESTROYING Climate Disruption!

    People will drive their gas guzzling, poisonous cars forever. It takes a flash flood and total destruction to end the human threat on earth.

    We are left with observing an accelerating extinction, the greatest threat in human history. Yes, Humans are to stupid to prevent climate change.

  15. Michael T. says:

    NASA has posted their December map of temperature anomalies:

    It seems that the December anomaly of 0.40 was cool and and brought the global temperature down only slightly. 2010 is now tied with 2005 in both the NOAA and NASA data sets. The updated figures should be posted shortly on the NASA GISS site.

  16. Edpeak says:

    “, but the difference (0.01 deg. C) is nowhere near statistically significant.”

    Ok but now I’m curious what IS statistically significant. If 0.01C is “nowhere near” statistically significant then maybe 0.02 is not “quite” statistically significant, and 0.02 is the difference which which 2010 and 2005 beat 1998 and by which 1998 beats 2003 per NOAA? Just wondering how much before it IS stat’ly significant in their evaluation?

    0.02? 0.03? 0.04?

    At 0.04 you’d get a 5-way tie between teh 0.62 anomalies and the 0.58 anomalies..whether its denialists or general public one is doing outreach to it would be useful to hear what NOAA says, what Hansen says, and what Spencer says *is* statistically significant, what fraction of a degree C? (Warning to newer readers: Spencer is one of those “recent warming is not the fault of humans” (from his amazon book summary) and “More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not necessarily to be feared” meaning he’s not only wrong about warming but no clue about ocean acidification)

    Second question: what do other groups besides NOAA say about 2010 (or if not yet official pronouncement from them, how soon will we hear)? The CRU folks will still call 1998 the record holder maybe? Given that they don’t include as many data points which NASA (and maybe also NOAA?) does count in its analysis?

    Anyone care to chime in on my two questions?

  17. Steve H says:

    @8 I would suggest that the title of the page be changed to include the phrase, “as predicted by climate scientists since 2008.”

    @11 Daniel See the reuters report here:

    Damn near perfect, as it discusses the AO paradox.

  18. Edpeak says:

    “no mention of the failed denier cooling predictions, despite the fact that they were all over the news and web back in 08.”

    Can you post link to a) the stories that said this, in the most prominent MSM news and b) email address for comments/complaints/letters to editor for each of them? Then a bunch of folks can email them, “this is what you said back then, this is what’s how happening, will you correct this for your readers, I hope?” or the like…

    (Agree with you that #4 John raises a fair the very least one can and should be able to cite numerical values for anomalies versus the average for more than one period, so the second set might be anomaly versus the average for some longer period starting at an earlier date)

  19. Solar Jim says:

    RE: Peter M @#1

    “Interesting. December it seems killed the chance for being the warmest.”

    It seems the building climate heat from radiative forcing went north toward the ice cap (Greenland) and cold came south toward Europe as a strong Atlantic Oscillation. The extra heat is still there, just redistributed by planetary geophysics of a disturbed Arctic Vortex.

    As we oxidize (by fire) more carbon matter extracted from the lithosphere, the geophysical response may become exponential. Then all current debate about a moderate energy transition over many decades may become irrelevant. That is, we may be observing the climate response from emissions several decades in the past. Today’s emissions are an order of magnitude higher than that period of time.

  20. Jim Eager says:

    Re Michael T @ 15, the GISS figures for 2010 have indeed been posted.

    For Global land-ocean they show 2010 as the warmest year at .63 above baseline verses .62 for 2005.

    Global met stations only .83 vs .75.

    Northern hemisphere land-ocean was .84 vs .82 for 2005.

    Northern hemisphere met only was 1.08 vs 1.01.

  21. Peter M says:

    #20 Solar Jim

    I agree.

  22. Michael T. says:

    Jim Eager @21

    I knew they posted the data. I was talking about the global maps and graphs on their site.

  23. Jim Eager says:

    OK, it’s just that your words “the updated figures should be posted shortly” sounded like they hadn’t yet posted the anomaly data, which they hadn’t when I last checked this morning.

    Here’s the link for everyone else:

    Scroll down to the data table links.

  24. Michael T. says:

    NASA news release:

    NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record

    Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

  25. Richard Brenne says:

    Some talking points anyone can use in speaking or writing about climate change:

    John Atcheson (#4) makes a good point that comparing anomalies to the 20th Century average would be more useful than 1971-2000, when dramatic warming had begun relative to the three previous decades in particular, as well as 1900 – 1920s. Maybe NOAA-NCDC and others feel the data was more reliable from 1971-2000, but they constantly clean up and use the most reliable data, just as NASA-GISS does by looking at the map of lights and throwing out data from the brightest urban areas, that presumably would experience the greatest urban heat island effect.

    Michael (#9) also makes a good point about NOAA (and Hadley) not factoring in Antarctica and the Aortic, which is warming more than anyplace on Earth. NASA-GISS extrapolates from all the nearest weather stations, and Kevin Trenberth told me that such extrapolated data is invariably better than no data at all.

    Michael T (#16) has the link to NASA’s December, October-December and 2010 temperature maps, where it jumps out at you that in all three there is over 6 degrees C (10 degrees F) of anomalous warmth centered over Hudson’s Bay and Western Greenland. During December this high pressure created a corresponding cut-off low over much of Siberia as Stu Ostro at the Weather Channel has monitored more than anyone.

    Michael T (#3) also provides this extremely useful link to NOAA’s 2010 weather summary here:

    What NOAA and others should do is interpret this data in light of what we’d expect from global warming.

    For instance, much is made of the current and 2010 cold experienced in the South and other places, but in 2010 Florida only experienced their 7th coldest year, with South Carolina experiencing their 22nd coldest, Alabama their 33rd and Mississippi their 34th coldest, with no other state even close to those four.

    Two states experienced their all-time warmest average temperatures (all this in 116 years of record-keeping), five more states their second or third warmest, and 11 states total having years from 1st to 6th warmest, all more impressive heat records than Florida’s cold record.

    The seasonal records are similar, with the year’s most impressive cold records being the 5th coldest winters in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

    But in the Spring 8 states had their all-time record warmest spring, and 12 states had their all-time record warmest summers.

    That’s 20 all-time state high temperature records to 0 all-time state low temperature records during all of the seasons.

    In the fall, every state was above normal for the season except Washington, which had its 56th coldest fall in 116 years.

    I heard many complaints about what a cold spring and summer Oregon and California had, but Oregon had its 20th coldest spring and 38th coldest summer, while California had its 15th coldest spring and 84th coldest summer.

    Part of this comes from higher than average temperatures inland pulling more fog off the coast into areas like San Francisco where many people live. This has always happened (after all, Mark Twain said “The coldest winter ever I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”), but might have been more pronounced in 2010 than in recent years.

    December, 2009 did set a monthly record for the extent of snow cover throughout the contiguous 48 states from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab’s examination of 44 years of the satellite record, with January having the 6th largest extent and February the 3rd largest, including during the second week when all 50 states had at least some snow cover, but by April 1 it was the 8th smallest snow extent and by May 1 the 10th smallest snow extent during that same period because of all the warming.

    And as with Aortic sea ice and glacial levels, volume always tells us much more than mere area alone. A novelty inch or two of snow in the panhandle of Florida isn’t very meaningful in water terms than the dozens of feet of densely packed snow with high water content in the Cascades (where 95 feet have fallen in one year, the world’s record), Sierra and other ranges.

    The dramatic precipitation events like Nashville’s 13 inches in a day back in May and Minnesota having the most tornadoes of any state (including a record 48 in one day when the previous record was 27) are also telling. In 1950 there were 200 recorded tornadoes, with 1302 in 2010 and over 1000 19 of the last 20 years. Higher populations and better means of recording tornadoes are certainly a big factor, but not the only factor. There’s also a lot more energy in the system to fuel tornadoes.

    There’s also a lot more energy expended in denying all this and all other data. Those 19 all-time national heat records in 2010 had no corresponding national cold records. We all need to take this data and relate it to our changing climate the best we can, then communicate that to everyone we can. Thanks to everyone commenting here and doing that.

  26. Charles says:

    What boggles my mind is that we still have folks around who insist we are in a cooling trend (that started you-know-when) that is going to be prolonged and significant.

  27. BenjaminG says:

    R.e. #17

    The uncertainty bars on Hansen’s GISTEMP global temperature estimate are +/- .05°C:

    On NOAA’s estimate they appear even wider:

    I don’t know about the satellite estimates, but I’d be surprised if they are any narrower than GISS’s, probably wider.

    This means that if you are talking about really significant differences, almost all of the last decade’s individual years, plus 1998, are in a statistical tie for ‘warmest year’.

  28. From Peru says:

    The “Hot Arctic-cold continents pattern” is continuing:

    However, the “cold” part the pattern is warming up. While, the USA is now in cold snap, Siberia is now less cold, and Europe in now anomausly warm, not cold.

    The snow in Central Europe has melted:

    Snow Jan 01:
    Snow Jan 12:

    The “warm” part is instead still anomausly warm, with warmth easing slightly in Canada and Greenland, but increasing in the Arctic Ocean.

  29. Edpeak says:

    Hold on, one thing that is puzzling here:

    The article “NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record” ( says
    “. In the new analysis, the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007, which are statistically tied for third warmest year [after the tied-for-first years of 2010 and 2005]”

    but in an earlier report a year ago, “2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade” ( they said,

    “The past year was only a fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest year on record, and tied with a cluster of other years — 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 — as the second warmest year since recordkeeping began. ”

    so did NASA change their minds about 2009 or were they just too tired to list “and 2009” in the January 2011 release (the first of the two above)?

    Seems like “the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007, which are statistically tied for third” should instead say “the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 AND ALSO 2009 which are statistically tied for third”

    or else in the last 12 months new data/analysis has changed NASA’s mind about 2009?(or maybe it’s a matter of changing the margin of error for what counts as “close enough” to be declared a “tie”)?

    [JR: Good catch! I sent them an email.]

  30. Michael says:

    Question – is the SST dataset that GISS uses (HadISST) the same as the one that the Hadley Center uses? If so, the Hadley SST was recently found to have a cool bias in recent years, which would make 2010 0.03°C warmer if the adjustment hasn’t already been applied.

    [JR: I asked NASA that. It’s not quite the same, but this might ultimately have some impact on their data.]

  31. David B. Benson says:

    On track for my prediction of the average global temperature of the 2010s:
    Only 9 more years to go…

  32. Michael says:

    Edpeak (19) –

    This article from 2008 is full of claims of a cooling climate, because of the Sun, PDO and what-have-you:

    Also, there was a study back then that predicted cooling through 2015 because of ocean cycles. Of course, that prediction was wrong, even just using data through 2010:

  33. Peter M says:

    An all time record of 28″ of snow in a 24 hour period fell at Hartford, Connecticut January 11-12 2010.

    I saw the Brisbane Queensland AU flooding over at CS- seems that we have an atmosphere that is becoming saturated.

  34. paulm says:

    In actual fact, taking into account the extreme weather events that occurred in 2010, I would bet that it was hotter than 2005, only due to incomplete data sets from the poles, it does not register in the analysis.

    It certainly was probably hotter at the polar regions than any other time since records begun.
    This is what is driving the weird weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
    And the reason why the poles are getting hot is because the positive feedback is kicking in with a vengeance.

  35. Wit's End says:

    NEVER MIND these minor issues about temperatures, it amounts to a mere distraction! FINALLY, we have a climate change sex scandal!!! Let’s concentrate on what will garner attention in the tabloids, and hopefully, bring the extreme weather chaos into the mainstream media!

    Can a climate change reality show be far behind?? I can see episodes like…

    JR paddles down the Washington Mall…Jim Hansen dances on a rooftop to Lady Gaga…Bill McKibben lip syncs Joni Mitchell…90 year old carbon, caught in the devil’s bargain, at the end of this link:

  36. Steve Metzler says:

    Well, there’s at least one canard the deniers shouldn’t bring up any longer (but they inevitably will): “Since 1995, there has been no statistically significant global warming.”

    Because of the ‘fine performance’ of 2010, the warming since 1995 is now statistically significant at the 95% level. They’ll just move the goalposts though. It’s the 21st century. I think they have motorised goal post movers now.

  37. Esop says:

    #40 (Steve):
    Awesome! I have been wondering when that would happen.
    I guess we’ll see it all over the MSM tomorrow.

  38. Paulm says:

    In the hottest year yet we get this…

    The National Weather Service reported on Wednesday that there was snow on the ground in every US state except for Florida, including Hawaii – which had 7in on the top of the Mauna Kea mountain.

    “I think it has happened in the past, but it’s not very often that it happens,” said weather service spokesman James Peronto.

  39. Leif says:

    Peter M @ 35: … ” seems that we have an atmosphere that is becoming saturated.”

    It is important to note that the saturation is for this temperature level. More warming, = more water vapor.
    By ~2050 we double again if memory serves me correct. And that is in the pipeline.

    Looks like mitigation is in the cards.

  40. Bill Waterhouse says:

    “Thirty years ago there were over 386,000 square miles of Arctic ice that was older than five years. This September, there were only 22,000 square miles of five-year-old, thicker ice remaining. In a matter of just three decades, we are missing 97 percent of older, thicker ice.”


  41. K. M. says:

    Could you do a post on Roy Spencer’s ideas? It’s frustrating to encounter people who have bought his whole view on climate change, none of the standard ‘how to talk to a climate skeptic’ rules seem to have traction against his particular theory.

  42. Roger says:

    Wit’s End (#39) says “NEVER MIND these minor issues about temperatures, it amounts to a mere distraction!” (“Sarcasm ON” sign seen glaring invisibly.)

    “She took the words out of my mouth,” I said out loud, as soon as I read this. Seriously, it reminded me of the saying, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.”

    So, I just wonder…when will SOMEONE figure out a way to get people, or the government, or whoever, to actually DO something (effective) to save us from ourselves–to save us from hell, high water and starvation?

    Seeing word (mostly here on CP) about all of the “natural” disasters going on NOW around the world, one gets the feeling that the S is already hitting the F. It’s just that only a handful of us SEE it.

    Obama gave a great speech tonight in Tucson. When will he give the civilization-saving “State of the Climate” speech we need to hear in order to inspire Americans to lead planet Eaarth to a livable future?

    Do any CP readers have any practical suggestions about what to do? Is there something that we can really make happen? Let’s assume, just to be cautious, that we have 12 months to get things on the right track.

    Whatever it is that we do, it seems that it will take some organized effort. With time so short, it would probably take leadership by one of the large existing climate organizations. What might they lead us to do that could make Obama “DO IT,” FDR New Deal style, as in when FDR said: “All right. You’ve convinced me. Now go out and make me do it.”

    Please post suggestions on CP by February 11th 2011 to allow time for implementation. (Deadline for the effective action event is 11-11-11.)

    Prize for the winning suggestion: the eternal gratitude of CP readers and some seven billion others, and President Obama calling YOU a hero!

    Thank you all for your attention to this important matter.


  43. Colorado Bob says:

    Please everyone read this :

    Grain Prices Surge as U.S. Cuts Crop Estimates, Signal Tighter Food Supply

    “There’s no room for error anymore” on farms around the world, said Dan Basse, the president of AgResouce Co., a commodity consultant in Chicago. “With any weather issues, we’re going to make new all-time highs in corn and soybeans, and to a lesser degree, wheat futures.”

  44. Colorado Bob says:

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Driving rains sent tons of rusty red earth sliding into mountain towns, killing at least 335 people and leaving dozens more missing, Brazilian media reported Thursday.

    Hillsides and river banks in the picturesque Serrana region north of Rio de Janeiro buckled under about 10 inches of rain — the equivalent of a month’s rainfall in 24 hours — destroying houses and killing many people early Wednesday, rescue officials said.

  45. Wit's End says:

    This claptrap in the Washington Examiner has me seething!!!

    “Except that there’s practically no evidence that the depth in which coral shells dissolve faster than they accumulate has gotten any shallower over the past 250 years, geoscientist David Middleton points out in ‘Chicken Little of the Sea Strikes Again’.

    ‘There is solid evidence that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels have actually caused carbonate deposition to increase over the last 220 years,’ Middleton writes.

    In fact, CO2 may actually be good for coral reefs. “It appears that in addition to being plant food… CO2 is also reef food,” he points out:

    ‘Over the last 400+ years the Earth’s climate has warmed ~0.6°, mean sea level has risen by about 9 inches and the atmosphere has become about 100 ppmv more enriched with CO2; and the Great Barrier Reef has responded by steadily growing faster…. Once again, we have an environmental catastrophe that is entirely supported by predictive computer models and totally unsupported by correlative and empirical scientific data,’ he concludes.

    We can safely pitch ocean acidification into the dustbin of junk science.’”

  46. Colorado Bob says:

    There are currently 3 cyclones forming east, north, and west of Australia …….

  47. Colorado Bob says:

    10.94 inches falling in 24 hours on the north coast of Tasmania

    Flash flooding hits Victoria

  48. Esop says:

    Let us not forget the cooling bias from the AO and NAO. They were in the negative phase most of the year, but made most impact in January, Feb, Nov and Dec. Cold Arctic air flowed onto the continents, decreasing the average mean temp there, but the warm air that flowed into the Arctic and dramatically raised the average temp up there did not affect the global average much since temps are extrapolated in GISS, and not even taken into account in CRU, causing a large cold bias. No wonder the CRU data are the new favorite set of the deniers. The very dataset that they “proved” to be “fraudulent” during “Climategate”. Funny how quick things change in the land of denial.

    This makes the 2010 tie/record a lot more impressive and a whole lot more scary.

  49. Adrian says:


    As usual, you are 100% right in drawing maximum attention to the latest NOAA/NASA data. As you’ve made amply clear in many of your posts, its importance is not as a “one off” but as a confirmation of the historic trend of planetary warming.

    However, there will be new visitors who have not read those earlier posts; and not-so-new visitors who’ve yet to fully assimilate the meaning of that analysis. They’ll be impressed by the data on 2010, its heat and its extreme weather, but not so impressed they can’t be confused by bogus counter-arguments. That’s where the misinformers come in.

    As anyone who regularly reads climate site comments knows, as well as the simply confused, there are those who deliberately seek to confuse. Through experience, they know abuse and crass arguments will not wash on this site. They’ve learned to be devious, to be friendly, to be curious, to appear to be “mostly convinced”, just needing “a little more thinking time”.

    For example, they’ll say, what about this or that – and raise an argument or fact intended not to clarify but to confuse the unwary. What am I getting at?

    Let’s say you’re a disinformer (paid or unpaid it makes no difference). You want to undermine this post. What do you do? Well 2010 was hot, no denying. But was it “really” hot. What about if we play with error margins, says our friend. Margins are “real” science so no one, least of all a scientist, can object to them.

    Then he/she says, well if the margin of error is slightly incorrect then in fact 1998 might have been warmer than 2010, or 2009 or 2005…. And if 1998 “might” have been the hottest year then…. (And this is the really clever/devious bit) without saying it his/herself, he/she leaves the reader to jump to the conclusion that the planet might not have actually warmed at all in the last decade! Mission accomplished.

    Bullshit of course, but, left unanswered, our novice visitor is hopelessly confused, and the misinformer has achieved his/her aim.

    That’s why no matter how important it is to publicise the heat in 2010, it’s a thousand times more important to continue banging home the message that it’s the TREND, over 15-20 years that counts. 1998 may have been hot, but it was an statistical outlier in a world that was demonstrably cooler than today. 2011 will likely be cooler than 2010 (El Nina) but the trend will still be upward.

    By far the best explanation of this analysis can be found in the Tamino’s brilliant “Sharper Focus”,

    If any Climate Progress visitor hasn’t read it yet, I’d urge them to do so.

  50. Mark says:

    Total silence in main UK media too.

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

  51. Prokaryotes says:

    There are currently 3 cyclones forming east, north, and west of Australia …….

    It takes 1 cyclone/typhoon to create a flood like 1898 or 1974 in the Brisbane area, just this time it is flooded already.

  52. Bill W says:

    Denier site version of this headline: “NOAA and NASA say no warming since 2005”. Bet on it.

  53. Colorado Bob says:

    Wit’s End @ 58 –
    My take away in reading this …….. The wind speeds in the southern hemisphere will make sailing in the Southern Ocean impossible. There is no physical reason why they won’t blow 50 to 100 mph every day.

  54. Jules Johanna says:

    I’m not denining anything in the topic, but why on EARTH is the anomaly based on the 51-80 averages?!

    Especially when we have the 61-90 and 71-00 averages…

  55. Yvan Dutil says:

    #42 @Paulm “The National Weather Service reported on Wednesday that there was snow on the ground in every US state except for Florida, including Hawaii – which had 7in on the top of the Mauna Kea mountain.”

    I have lived on Big Island has many friend. Snow on Mauna Kea is not that unusual. It happen once in two years. Top of the mountain is winter is below 0C. However, the difficulty is to bring water vapour there. Summit is normally as dry as a bone. This is why observatories are build there. Once you get convection and wind strong enough you can bring snow to the summit. In those case, weather condition are awful there.

  56. Gordon Parish says:

    @40 – Steve…

    … I can hear it now, Steve… (he says sarcastically)… precipitous global cooling since November 2010… pretty obvious by NASA GISS’ own data:

  57. Jim Eager says:

    Jules @ 63, calculating an anomaly – any anomaly – requires a baseline period to compare to. Once a baseline is selected it makes sense to stick with it so that all subsequent comparisons will be consistent and use the same metric, no?

    NASA GISS have been using the 1951-1980 baseline since the 1980s. Changing the baseline period would require recalculating the entire data table for the entire instrument record so that all figures would use the same metric.

    Now here’s the kicker: changing the baseline period would not change the *difference* between values one iota. -30 vz +10 would show exactly the same difference, and therefore the same anomaly as -10 vz +30.

    Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work to change the baseline when the size of the anomaly would remain exactly the same.

  58. Ron Broberg says:

    Well, thank you WSJ for that, but it’s not clear why you give less space to hundreds of leading scientists than you do to one long-wrong one.

    What is unclear about it?
    The agenda is obvious.

  59. Michael T. says:

    Jules @63
    Here’s another explanation from NASA GISS for the choice of the 1951-1980 base period:

    “The GISS analysis uses 1951-1980 as the base period. The United States National Weather Service uses a three-decade period to define “normal” or average temperature. At the time we began our global temperature analyses and comparisons with climate models that climatology period was 1951-1980. It seems best to keep the base period fixed, because many
    graphs have been published with that choice for climatology. It is a good choice for another reason: many of today’s adults grew up during that period, so they can remember what climate was like then. Besides, a different base period only alters the zero point for anomalies, without changing the magnitude of the temperature change over any given period.”

    This was explained in the “Global Surface Temperature Change” paper published last month in Reviews of Geophysics:

  60. Andy says:

    Re: Wits End – Here’s a quote from the author (David Middleton) of WUWT’s ocean acidification post in response to a critical comment.

    “I just realized that I was looking at the Ries chart backwards this morning.”

    And yet it made no difference to Middleton’s conclusions. Even though his conclusions contradict those of the study’s authors and even though he was reading a critical chart backwards, he refuses to change his stance on the issue.

    That says it all. The WUWT crew is definitely in denial.

  61. Wit's End says:

    Andy, it was only after I posted the comment that I followed the link from the Examiner and realized the article originated at WUWT, which saddened me, because I never go to that slime pit, on principle. Thanks for doing a follow up on it, though – at least I got a reason to laugh!

    Colorado Bob, I guess I won’t be investing in that sailboat in Tahiti after all.

  62. meurig says:

    Joe,is that “new record highs” graphic available anywhere in Celsius? (Or do I have to draw my own?)

  63. Steve Metzler says:

    Andy #69:

    In that typical travesty of a WUWT article, Middleton showed so many ‘The coral reefs like…’ charts (with no demonstrated correlation, of course), that I kept scrolling down expecting to see a ‘The coral reefs like Somali pirates’ chart. Seriously. *sigh*

  64. K. M. says:

    @ #47

    Found my own answer. Missed it on a first look at search hits for ‘Roy Spencer’, but clearly it was there all the time.