From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published April 14, 2010 12:22 PM

Global Warming: Next Chapter

For those in the American Northeast last winter was rugged and fairly cold. Yet what is he world picture? The World Meteorological Organization’s latest report demonstrates that 2000-2009 is the warmest decade since modern measurements began recording temperatures around 1850. In its annual report, “WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate,” the WMO also found that 2009 is nominally ranked as the fifth warmest on record.


According to WMO, the year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850. The global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2009 (January–October) is currently estimated at 0.79°F ± 0.20°F above the 1961–1990 annual average of 57.2°F. The current nominal ranking of 2009, which does not account for uncertainties in the annual averages, places it as the fifth-warmest year. The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989). More complete data for the remainder of the year 2009 will be analyzed at the beginning of 2010 to update the current assessment.

The year started with a mild January in northern Europe and large parts of Asia, while western and central Europe were colder than normal. Russia and the Great Lakes region in Canada experienced colder than average temperatures in February and January, respectively. Spring was very warm in Europe and Asia; April in particular was extremely warm in central Europe. Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria reported temperature anomalies of more than +5°C, breaking the previous records for the month in several locations. The European summer was also warmer than the long term average, particularly over the southern regions. Spain had the third warmest summer, with hotter summers reported only in 2003 and 2005. Italy recorded a strong heatwave in July, with maximum temperatures above 40°C, and some local temperatures reaching 45°C. A heatwave at the beginning of July affected the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Germany, and some stations in Norway experienced new maximum temperature records.

India had an extreme heatwave event during May, which caused 150 deaths. A heatwave hit northern China during June, with daily maximum temperatures above 40°C; historical maximum temperature records were broken for the summer in some locations.

In late July many cities across Canada recorded their warmest daily temperatures. Vancouver and Victoria set new records, reaching 34.4°C and 35.0°C, respectively. Alaska also had the second-warmest July on record. Conversely, October was a very cold month across large parts of the United States. For the nation as a whole, it was the third coolest October on record, with an average temperature anomaly of -2.2°C. Similarly, a very cold October was reported in Scandinavia, with mean temperature anomalies ranging from -2°C to -4°C.

This year above normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record.

This preliminary information for 2009 is based on climate data from networks of land based weather and climate stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. The data are continuously collected and disseminated by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of the 189 Members of WMO and several collaborating research institutions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently reported the following global trends:

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for February 2010 was the sixth warmest on record, at 1.08 degrees F above the 20th century average of 53.9 degrees F.

The global land surface temperature for February 2010 was 1.35 degrees F above the 20th century average of 37.8 degrees F — tying with 1992 as the 14th warmest February on record.

Anomalously cool conditions were widespread across the contiguous United States, Mexico, Europe and Russia. Overall, the United Kingdom had its coolest February since 1991, and the Irish Republic, its coolest February since 1986.

Warmer than average temperatures enveloped much of the rest of the world’s land areas, with the warmest temperature anomalies occurring across Alaska, Canada and across the Middle East and northern Africa.

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies is also analyzing global temperatures and in a preliminary report have come to the same rising temperature scenario for 2009.

Global temperatures are still rising despite local trends and situations.

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