Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

April 2009 5th Warmest on Record – NOAA

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The globally-averaged land and sea surface temperature for April 2009 was the fifth-warmest in the past 130 years, according to a NOAA report.  This occurred as the El-Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon moved from a cold phase (La Nina) to a neutral phase.   The second graph on the page I’ve linked to shows where the warmest anomalies were found: eastern Russia, Europe and southern South America.  Those of us in the middle third of the U.S. (Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River valley) experienced cooler and wetter conditions than are normally found.  In the Front Range of Colorado, a winter-long drought was eased by a pretty wet April.

The anomalies during April were +1.00°C (+1.80°F) for land only, +0.44°C (+0.79°F) for the ocean only and +0.59°C (+1.06°F) for land and ocean combined.  These anomalously high temperatures occurred during the end of a La Nina, which tends to depress temperatures, as well as during the most extensive solar minimum in over 100 years.  Many climate change deniers cite solar cycles as the most important contributor to climate variability.  If the 5th warmest temperatures in recent history were recorded during the most intense solar minimum in recent history, what do folks think will happen when the solar cycle transfers towards its maximum?  What will happen when the next El Nino occurs?  Will temperatures somehow decrase globally?  I don’t think so.

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