Both NASA and NOAA released their separate analyses of global temperatures through April 2010 this week. Both agencies come to the same conclusions: April 2010 was the warmest April on record; the four-month period of Jan-Apr 2010 was the warmest such period on record (dating back to 1880).
NASA’s analysis reported a +0.73°C (+1.314°F) surface temperature anomaly for April 2010 (over the 1951-1980 base period). This easily beat the previous record 0.66°C (1.188°F) anomaly from 2007 and the 0.62°C (1.116°F) anomaly from 2005, according to NASA’s GISS dataset.
NOAA’s analysis reported a +0.76°C (+1.37°F) surface temperature anomaly for April 2010. According to the NOAA methodology, the next warmest April was observed in 1998: +0.71°C (+1.28°F).
With record and near-record monthly temperature averages observed so far in 2010, it is no surprise to see the January-April period this year also setting a temperature record. According to NASA, the Jan-Apr 2010 period has been the warmest at +0.75°C (+1.35°F). For comparison, NASA includes the same period from the two warmest years in their dataset so far: 2005 and 1998. Globally averaged surface temperatures in Jan-Apr 2005 were +0.64°C (+1.152°F) and during the same period in 1998 were +0.61°C (+1.098°F). So the Jan-Apr 2010 observed warmth was 0.11°C more than the same period in the warmest year to date on record. And yet the science-hating climate change deniers can’t stop themselves from talking about “global cooling”! I will point out again that these temperature records are occurring at a time when the lowest and longest solar minimum in a century is just ending. What will the next 5 to 10 years look like?
According to NOAA, the Jan-Apr 2010 period has also been the warmest: +0.69°C (+1.24°F). The NOAA site also contains information from the same period during the warmest or the next warmest year on record. Their methodology differs slightly from NASA’s, but is just as valid and acts as an independent check on the other dataset. NOAA’s methodology identified 2002 as the next warmest for global land and ocean surface temperatures at +0.68°C (+1.22°F). While the NOAA data don’t indicate the incredible surge in surface temperatures that the NASA data does, a record is a record. Moreover, the long-term trend is really what counts. And in both the NOAA and NASA datasets, the long-term trends are bad in terms of upcoming ramifications on ecosystems and human societies.
The NOAA report also includes information on tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures. I want to point out that April 2010 has the 2nd warmest lower tropospheric (lowest 5mi/8km) of the atmosphere on record: +0.50°C (+0.90°F), behind 1998 which saw +0.76°C (+1.37°F) temperatures. There is a big difference in this dataset from the ones I discuss above: the troposphere data goes back only 32 years. Here is a visual representation of the dataset for Aprils from 1979-2010. However, the data show the same kind of trend that the surface temperatures show: up. 1998 was likely affected more because of the intensity of the El Nino that was present over the 1997-1998 northern hemispheric winter season. There has also been an El Nino event this winter, but has affected temperatures globally in slightly different ways.
I would like to mention something else at this point. The Bush Regime tried very hard to delay or cancel satellite missions that would continue to monitor different conditions globally from being funded, and thereby launched. Satellites don’t operate forever; replacements must be planned for and successfully launched and operated – all of which requires less interference from political hacks, like those that were put into publicly funded agencies by Bush. I felt that interference was one of the under-reported stories in the last decade. Without up-to-date technologies being planned and put into place to monitor conditions, some of the observations discussed in this post wouldn’t be possible.
2010 should set the annual average temperature record if the trends seen so far this year continue. Natural processes and cycles are being overwhelmed by anthropogenic forcing (greenhouse gas pollution). That’s why the proposed climate and energy legislation in both chambers of the U.S. Congress are so important. That’s why the legislation must be strengthened, not weakened. We continue along with business as usual at our own peril.
Cross posted at SquareState.