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Saturday, June 12, 2010

NASA: Easily the hottest spring — and Jan-May — in temperature record. Plus another record 12-month global temperature

NASA: Easily the hottest spring — and Jan-May — in temperature record

Plus another record 12-month global temperature

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, June 10, 2010

NASA 5-10

Last month tied May 1998 as the hottest on record in the NASA dataset.  More significantly, following fast on the heels of easily the hottest April — and hottest Jan-April — on record, it’s also the hottest Jan-May on record [click on figure to enlarge].

Also, the combined land-surface air and sea-surface water temperature anomaly for March-April-May was 0.73 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, blowing out the old record of 0.65 °C set in 2002.

The record temperatures we’re seeing now are 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, well, other than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is.

Most significantly, the 12-month global temperature anomaly grew to 0.66 °C — easily the highest on record.

Software engineer (and former machinist mate in the US Navy) Timothy Chase put together a spreadsheet using the data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (click here).  In NASA’s dataset, the 12-month running average temperature record was actually just barely set in March — and then easily set in April.

Of course, there never was any global cooling — see Must-read AP story: Statisticians reject global cooling; Caldeira — “To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous.”

In fact, the new 12-month record far outpaced the pre-2010 record of 0.62°C that was set in … 2007
NASA’s recent draft paper reported:  “We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade” and “that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20 °C/decade that began in the late 1970s.”

For the record, it was the second hottest April in both satellite records (UAH and RSS), which are more sensitive to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) than the land records and have biases of their own (as Hansen discusses here).

Although I’m sure it’s just another coincidence, but just as NOAA noted “North American snow cover for April 2010 was the smallest on record,” Rutgers University’s Global Snow Lab again reports a record low snow cover in the entire northern hemisphere for the month of May (what appears to be a long term trend):

And in one of those compounded coincidences that drive the anti-science crowd into a frenzy of conspiracy theories and pseudo-analysis, the extent of Arctic sea ice continues to drop below the record lows of recent years:
AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent
nd, of course, the bottom continues to drop out of the most important measure of long-term Arctic sea ice survivability — volume (see Arctic death spiral: Naval Postgrad School’s Maslowski “projects ice-free* fall by 2016 (+/- 3 yrs)”).

Indeed, we appear to have been disintegrating volume records over the past several months according to the Polar Science Center (click to enlarge):

Note:  “Anomalies for each day are calculated relative to the average over the 1979 -2009 period for that day to remove the annual cycle.” The sharp drop at the end is not to a record low absolute level of ice volume, but to apparent record low for the month!
If only someone had a theory to explain all this coincidental warming and melting — and how to stop it before it really messed up our livable climate.


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