Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

NOAA Data Agrees With NASA Data: November Among Warmest Ever

Leave a comment

NOAA released their November Global Analysis about a week ago.  That was a couple of weeks after NASA released their November analysis.  I’m not sure if this was due to data quality control issues, but the result is in line with NASA’s: November 2010 was very warm globally.  NOAA’s methodology differs from NASA’s, which makes comparison between the two a good exercise.

According to NOAA, November 2010 was the 2nd warmest in their dataset (131 years long), slightly behind November 2004.  NASA, in contrast, reported that November 2010 was the warmest in their dataset.  Neither is more correct than the other.  If a large discrepancy in analyzed temperatures appeared between the two, there would be cause for concern.  But both methodologies are producing quite similar results, especially over climatic time periods of multiple decades.

Some numbers:

NOAA recorded a +1.24°F (+0.69°C) temperature anomaly over land and ocean in November 2010.  They recorded a +1.30°F anomaly during November 2004.  2010’s global temperature anomaly “suffered” from La Nina, which cooled the tropical Pacific.  Largely as a result of this, global ocean temperatures were +0.70°F, which tied 1987 and 2008 for the 10th warmest in the NOAA record.  Land temperatures were an astounding +2.74°F warmer than usual.  That beat out 2004’s +2.41°F anomaly.

I want to draw attention to the Northern Hemispheric land temperature anomalies for November 2010.  The previous record was observed in 2001: +2.84°F.  November 2010 set a new record: +3.55°F!  That is neither beating the previous record by a slim margin nor is it indicative of the climate zombies’ favorite mantra, “global cooling”.  You don’t set hemispheric-wide temperature records for an entire month when the globe is cooling, not when the records only last a handful of years.

The global ocean temperatures are worth mentioning again.  Even with a moderate to strong La Nina in place in the previous handful of months affecting the Pacific Ocean, the 10th warmest ocean temperature anomalies on record were observed.  Put another way: the relatively strong signal of El Nino/La Nina is likely now being dominated by the growing signal of global warming.  Will fluctuations occur from year to year?  Of course they will.  Novembers between 2007 and 2010 are a good example.  A relatively wide range of global ocean temperature anomalies were recorded.  But each of them were larger than the similar measurements during the 1990s except for 1997 and 1998, when the strongest El Nino on record occurred.

NOAA also released seasonal and year-to-date numbers.  From September through November, global temperature anomalies were +1.04°F, the 6th warmest in their records.  From January through November, global temperature anomalies were +1.15°F, the warmest on record (beating out 2005’s +1.12°F).  Land temperatures are the warmest in the NOAA record and ocean temperatures are the 3rd warmest.  Doesn’t look like there’s much cooling, does it?

Lastly, I want to make mention of a topic I wrote about recently: for all the temperature records we’re already seeing being broken in recent years, we haven’t seen anything yet.  The vast majority of the heat accumulated by the globe so far as a result of global warming has been stored by the ocean, specifically the deep ocean.  The heat accumulated thus far therefore has not had a chance yet to affect atmospheric temperatures.  As the 21st century progresses, the heat will get that opportunity.  Warm deep water will upwell along continental coastlines, shifting local climates, until enough heat is released back into the atmosphere that the global climate shifts.  Unfortunately for the globe, past warming episodes have tended to occur quite quickly, on the order of tens of years.  That has been a shocking discovery made recently by climate scientists.  Warmer oceans and a warmer atmosphere will induce a higher frequency of severe weather events.  It won’t take much of an increase in the number of those events to cause real problems for governments around the world.  And until we get our greenhouse pollution under control, that’s the future we face: decades to centuries of a warmer climate and more extreme weather events.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s