Everyone agrees: 2010 ties for top temperature


All of the major global temperature series — surface and satellite — report that 2010 is tied for first place as the warmest year in the long term record. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center both have 2010 tied with their previous record holder 2005, while the UK’s Climatic Research Unit and the satellite series from the University of Alabama Huntley (UAH) report that 2010 is tied with 1998. Commenting on the surface record, NZ climate scientist Jim Salinger said:

The three sources of global mean temperature analysis shows that the globe continues to warm with nine of the top ten years occurring between 2001 and 2010. Global average temperatures for the decade 2001 to 2010 were 0.44 deg C above the 1961 to 1990 average for HadCRUT3, making it the warmest decade on record going back to 1850.

Despite differences in detail between the various surface records, the GISS graph above clearly demonstrates that they show nearly identical long term trends. As the NZ Herald pointed out, 2010 should spells the end for that favourite denialist trope — it’s been cooling since (pick a year), but I’m a bit more sanguine. I confidently predict that with the current intense La Niña likely to ensure that 2011 is not a record-setter, the usual suspects will insist there’s been a plateau in temperatures, with cooling sure to follow. Until the next strong El Niño comes along, of course, because with the solar cycle moving towards maximum insolation, the global average will almost certainly set a clear new record. 2012, perhaps?

[Small milestone: This is the 1,000th post at Hot Topic since the site launched in April 2007.]

29 thoughts on “Everyone agrees: 2010 ties for top temperature”

  1. Congrats on the 1000th post – and what an appropriate one!

    I agree regarding the latter paragraph – ‘the next ice age began in Dec 2010’ will be the meme at least until the next major El Nino; I guarantee it!

    But if people won’t be persuaded to pull their heads out of the sand and actually listen to their own scientific academies after the amazing events spanning the globe in 2010 and early 2011 then I genuinely shudder to think what will have to happen in the future to sway them. By which time…

  2. Temperature records have been set by thermometers often located at airports next to asphalt and jet motors or next to concrete, roads and exhaust vents. There probably weren’t too many airports, car parks or air conditioners in the 1800s……. Not to mention the non-random adjustments, and that mystery about how 75% of thermometers are ignored

    1. I reckon it’s getting colder. When I was in the supermarket the other day it was freezing when I opened the door to get a tub of ice cream. They ignore that thermometer!
      And all that cold air that flows out from the shops from the air con. when you go inside – must be cooling the planet down – stands to reason!

  3. The world has been warmer than today for most of the last 10,000 years. Only people who think CO2 matters keep repeating that it’s warmed from 1850 to now without pointing out the larger perspective.

    1. Mr. Septic, have you heard of an interesting website called surfacestations.org? It is run by a chap called Anthony Watts, who is apparently the smartest man alive.

      He conducted a thoroughly exhaustive audit of the US thermometer network, and conclusively proved that UHI has absolutely NO EFFECT on the temperature record.

      Now, you may disagree with those naughty old climatologists, but you can’t disagree with the smartest man alive, can you?

      If Watts says that all those concrete airstrips and air conditioners have no effect on the temperature record, who are you to disagree with him?

  4. Most sceptics recognise that the world has been warming for 300 years and for a considerable length of time before the industrial revolution. The trend hasn’t changed as anthropogenic CO2 emissions rose. No one knows exactly why it started rising back then, but it wasn’t CO2.

        1. I notice Gray is one of the signers in that petition to Stephen Harper he presents at the first link, along with de Freitas, Peiser, Lindzen, Dyson, Plimer, Singer, Boehmer-Christiansen, Jaworowski etc.

          I suspect “Lank” has the usual DABS and DAC – Degree in Advanced Blog Science and Diploma in Applied Cut-and-Paste. It’s a pretty common qualification among contrarians.

          ‘Many years of work experience’ I can believe – I’ve had a couple like him with me that the school was having trouble placing. I’d also credit ‘many hours of community service’ 😉

  5. Those that find this information uncomfortable due to the conflicting views that they hold, will simply discount it, like they would any other piece of news or evidence that is contrary to their world view. Have a gander at the links below.


    I don’t think that denial can be seen by intelligent rational people as a credible position to take, so perhaps given some time… which a tanking economy could buy us.

    Climate Change is just a symptom of a wider unsustainable system after all, and even if we were to resolve climate change, if we don’t simultaneously resolve our ponzi financial system and stupid economy then we’re toast anyway.

    1. Yet optimism is the only rational response if you want a better future…

      I guess that why this is the challenge of our age. We have a lot of work and a hard fight to pull of a transition to a sustainable future – and everything to lose if we fail.

      Chin up little hobbits!

  6. 1000! Good work.

    But some of the responses here show there’s work still to be done.

    Hey ho. Roll up the sleeves, pull on the rubber boots like a Brisbane post-flood volunteer, and keep plugging on.

  7. A completely not unprecedented +~1 dec C/ century warming trend that started long before human GHGs could have had any significant effect that may or may not be continuing.

    Trying hard to get exited about this….

    Nup. Not gonna happen.

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