Warmest decade on record*

From NASA’s press release

NASA Research Finds Last Decade was Warmest on Record, 2009 One of Warmest Years

From NASA GISTEMP- Click image for original source

WASHINGTON — A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record.

Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, 2009 saw a return to a near-record global temperatures as the La Nina diminished, according to the new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years –1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 — for the second warmest on record.

“There’s always interest in the annual temperature numbers and a given year’s ranking, but the ranking often misses the point,” said James Hansen, GISS director. “There’s substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated.”

January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, although there was a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s.

In the past three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.36 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) per decade. In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) since 1880.

“That’s the important number to keep in mind,” said GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt. “The difference between the second and sixth warmest years is trivial because the known uncertainty in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years.”

The near-record global temperatures of 2009 occurred despite an unseasonably cool December in much of North America. High air pressures from the Arctic decreased the east-west flow of the jet stream, while increasing its tendency to blow from north to south. The result was an unusual effect that caused frigid air from the Arctic to rush into North America and warmer mid-latitude air to shift toward the north. This left North America cooler than normal, while the Arctic was warmer than normal.

“The contiguous 48 states cover only 1.5 percent of the world area, so the United States’ temperature does not affect the global temperature much,” Hansen said.

GISS uses publicly available data from three sources to conduct its temperature analysis. The sources are weather data from more than a thousand meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperatures, and Antarctic research station measurements.

Other research groups also track global temperature trends but use different analysis techniques. The Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom uses similar input measurements as GISS, for example, but it omits large areas of the Arctic and Antarctic where monitoring stations are sparse.

Although the two methods produce slightly differing results in the annual rankings, the decadal trends in the two records are essentially identical.

“There’s a contradiction between the results shown here and popular perceptions about climate trends,” Hansen said. “In the last decade, global warming has not stopped.”

For more information about GISS’s surface temperature record, visit:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

* For more information about why the GISS data isn’t much to be trusted, particularly at the northern latitudes, see this article

GHCN – GIStemp Interactions – The Bolivia Effect

GHCN – Up North, Blame Canada!, Comrade

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crosspatch

Yeah, but it’s GISTEMP so nobody is going to take it seriously.

Andy in Christchurch NZ

NIWA in New Zealand reported that the last decade was the “warmest on record” for NZ, but in fact it was a few 100ths of a degree warmer than the 80s and the 90s were cooler than both.
This announcement was treated with a certain amount of disdain as a result, even in the mainstream media.

Martin Brumby

It certainly was a record decade for AGW bullshit.

JohnH

I’ve looked at their data for the Station nearest to me, Glasgow airport.
1. It starts in 1880 which is 30 years before regular manned flight
2. Raw data shows no warming trend at all over the full data
3. The adjusted data shows the early years temps are adjusted downwards, later ones which are more likely to be affected by UHI are unadjusted.
4. When looking at the stations used in Scotland they use mainly airports and sea level stations, odd considering Scotlands mountainous countryside and large rural unpopulated areas.
Based on this I cannot believe a word these guys say

* We measure from the end of the Little Ice Age and seem startled when temperatures increase.
* We move thermometers and measure from Airports and seem startled when temperatures increase
*We increase thermometer numbers then drop them from cool areas such as Russia then seem startled when temperatures increase
*We urbanise most of the measuring points then disregard UHI and seem startled when temperatures increase
The notion of a Global temperature is severely flawed in concept and execution, and the way it is measured and adjusted so inconsistent that these figures have little merit other than demomstrating the old adage that there are lies, damned lies and statistics.
Very many individual stations around the world are showing a cooling trend-some for many years- demonstrating that the warming signal is being highlighted by the way the fgures are compiled.
Tonyb.

Jimbo

After Climategate would you buy a car from these ‘used car salesmen’? Maybe they should have said:

A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880, according to the UHI records.

In years to come we may have the makings of GISSgate or NASAgate.

Torsten Wedin

The last decade was the warmest decade this millenium, but when I think about it, also the coolest 😉

For all Hansen’s bluster, we know that they way they interpret the temperature data is designed from the outset to lower earlier temps and raise later temps. Taking thousands of stations from cold environments out of the record is bound to show a warming in the trend. If they keep going on like this, then the global temperature record for the 2050s will taken from one thermometer, surrounded by light focusing mirrors, in death valley California.
What warming that there may have been is entirely within natural variability.

Peter of Sydney

Still a long way to go to match the Medieval Warm Period.

Squidly

Sorry, not believing it.

Evan Jones

Airports are very damn lousy mesosites in spite of often favorable microsite attributes. In the US, airports have warmed much faster (by ~0.12C per decade) over the last 3 decades than well sited non-AP sites.

Daniel H

Speaking of broken records, Hansen is beginning to sound like one. Somebody please give this clown a new act.

Nik Marshall-Blank

James Hansen says “When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated.”
I interpret that as
“After the little ice age which began in 1650 and ended in 1850 temperatures are finally returning to normal”

So is averaging over 5-10 years enough now to talk about climate, according to Hansen himself? How strange…

I’ve just discovered that I am really no longer interested in anything GISS has to say. That whole “science” is simply no longer credible. We keep warning each other that the shenanigans of “The Team” were going to hurt science in general and climate science in particular… and I find myself now with neither interest or confidence in what one of the leading research organizations has to say.
Maybe I’ve been hanging out here too long. ; )

Leigh

Considering the work of Anthony and others at surfacestations.org, the measurement errors and interpolation required for global temperature back in 1880, and the intervening UHI, that would be a 0.8 degree C increase +/- around 3.0 degrees C? I love the additional explanation and discussion regarding el nino, jet streams etc. It conotes an understanding more of the theory and models than of reality. They should report it in the newspaper, between the astrology section and the racing tips.

Günter Hess

NASA measured the warmest decade based on their temperature product that measures the mean global temperature anomalie with respect to 1950 to 1980. However, the weather didn’t change that much as we all observed. Doesn’t this mean that the weather of the earth is not very sensitive to global temperature anomalies.

vg

So Coleman’s TV report Part 4 was 100% correct! LOL
“GISS uses publicly available data from three sources to conduct its temperature analysis. The sources are weather data from more than a thousand meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperatures, and Antarctic research station measurements”

Edbhoy

JohnH
I’ve looked at the unadjusted figures from Scotland for the stations that have been recording from 1930s up to 2008. The only one that shows any significant warming in the original data is Eskdalemuir . However once we correct for the “travesty” of lack of warming the picture changes substantially.
Ed

Chris Schoneveld

Even if “global warming stops” as from today for the next ninety years one can, at the end of this century, rightly claim that this was the hottest century of the last 500 years or so, yet it falsifies the run-away AGW hypothesis. Claims like: this is the hottest decade or the hottest century are meaningless, they are always used when upward trends stall or reverse, like we have seen this last decade

R.S.Brown

“Hey Rocky !”. “Watch me pull a rabbit out of the hat. ”
“Again ?”
Grrrrr… </B.
“No doubt about it, I got to get me a new hat.”

Really it’s simple, just eliminate all those” cold ” thermomemters and you can cook the stats at the same time as you ” cook ” the earth.
http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/81559212.html
more here
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2465893

Graham Dick

“NASA Research Finds Last Decade was Warmest on Record”. Really?
Well, here in Australia, we’re cool.
“Looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely”,
the current decade in Australia is
0.6-0.7 deg C cooler than it was in 1881-1890.
This estimate is derived from the annual Mean Maximum Temperatures provided by the Bureau of Meteorology for the following meteorological stations:
46043, 55023, 58012, 64008, 69018, 75031, 83025, 84016, 85096, 90015.
These operational stations have temperature records back to 1881 or beyond.
Not included in this analysis are the following long-standing stations based at airports or in major cities: 38003, 61055, 66062, 80015, 86071, 94029. Inevitably, local “urban warming (heat-island)” effects at these hot spots would have artificially inflated estimates. Indeed, they are on average 1 deg C warmer this century than previous highs. They rightly should be excluded from estimates of the true temperature trends across the country.
So Dorothea MacKellar’s beloved “Sunburnt Country” was at least 0.6-0.7 deg C hotter during her early childhood than any other decade on record.
All estimates can be checked using relevant links from
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml

Look, you deniers, this is becoming serial!
GISS data comes directly from NASA – yes, NASA, the people responsible for getting man to the Moon and back more than 40 years ago – so it must be an unimpeachable source of data.
Once the NASA data are sifted through the intelligent, careful, and loving hands of Dr James Hansen, they become a tour de force of carefully adjusted real-world data.
We really need to congratulate Dr James Hansen, Dr Keith Briffa, Dr Michael Mann, and others (and not forgetting our Mann of the Minute, Dr R.K. Patchauri), upon their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to prod (with a hockey stick) a reluctant bristlecomb pine fair up the [snip] of the World’s economy.
Given the current, um, unrest surrounding the IPCC and their camp-following carpet-bagging sicophants, it is surprising that GISS has come up with these figures.
However, if we consider that the “cake was baked” well prior to Hopenchangen, then this story is not in any way exceptional – indeed it was to be expected.
Dr James Hansen, if you or one of your many acolytes are reading this, please be assured that we are indeed coming to get you.

Of course it is was a warm decade, if you can massage the figures to say so. This is the Central England temperature record – largely raw data:
http://www.climate4you.com/CentralEnglandTemperatureSince1659.htm
This is the same temperature set after Hadcrut got hold of it:
http://artofteachingscience.org/images/mean_england_temp.gif
PRESTO !!! Global Warming !!!
(Hadcrut is run by David Blaine and David Copperfield.)
.

anna v

I think people who can look at the long range climatological record as summarized in other GISS data are either not real scientists or are at the early stages of Alzheimer’s and should be pitied.
There will always be a “warmest decade” or two before the inevitable down slides that the records show in the millenia long records.

D. Patterson

Hansen said. “In the last decade, global warming has not stopped.”
More likely: In the last decade, global warming FRAUD by the Hockey Stick Team has not stopped.

Michael

Bad NASA, Bad Hansen. No Sunspots for you.
Seinfeld – Soup Nazi – NO SOUP FOR YOU!

anna v

corrected
I think people who can look at the long range climatological record as summarized in other GISS data and talk of “hottest decades” are either not real scientists or are at the early stages of Alzheimer’s and should be pitied.
There will always be a “warmest decade” or two before the inevitable down slides that the records show in the millenia long records.

And as predicted back in November, those claiming that 2000 to 2009 was the warmest decade on record failed to explain the reason:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/global-temperatures-this-decade-will-be.html

P Gosselin

As long as people’s heating bills continue to rise, I doubt the news will be much consolation. Thinking it’s warm is not going to pay the oil or gas bill.
Couple of weather anecdotes:
1) Arctic coldest in 6 years!
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php (compare to other years)
2. Berlin doesn’t see sun in 16 days – the most since 1964.
http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100121-24729.html

MB

The language suggests significant warming. But the numbers are tiny. 0.3 degrees here, 1.5 degrees there. Doesn’t anybody else think these “record temperatures” are infinitesimally close to the “non record temperatures”?
I don’t understand why anybody is worried about this. On top of the fact that they are not actually claiming a significant temperature change, we know that the measurements are no good (urban heat Island, “hide the decline”) anyway.
Then they come up with their “cluster of recent record high temperatures”. Why? Because it kind of supports their argument at first glance, as long as you don’t look at how small the numbers are.
And of course, the recent cold spells, and they were *really* cold, a real difference that you could feel and were affected by, were just weather, not climate. This is a classic example of human bias creeping into analysis.

Am I missing something here? How are these posts helping? No critique of the analysis, just reposting the NASA press release?

MB

PS I know that this so-called “independent data set” was not involved in the “hide the decline” statement, but the people involved in that are for all practical purposes the same group of people involved in this and from the emails we know their mindset, morals and ethics. I do not trust them to carry out unemotional, unbiased scientific analysis.

David Alan

I’m sorry you feel compelled to post this drivel.
2009 produced massive extreme records not just here, but all over the world.
All over the United States temperatures were well below normal. Extended periods of time had set records for precipitation, snow and highest minimums.
I can only confirm that 2009 produced record extreme lows that outpaced extreme high temperatures and lowest maximums in over a decade.
The Northern Hemisphere experienced record early snow and record snow cover.
The plain states, the mid-west, and the great lakes region saw the coolest summer in over 80 years.
In South America, certain populations saw snow for the first time in their lives.
In Australia, new research confirms that temperature readings in the metropolitan areas trended higher than the villages in the outback , confirming UHI effects.
And when it really comes down to it, the alarmism of Jim Hansen is about a few tenths of a degrees.
We are witnessing a cooling process that which no living person has ever experienced.
Period.
2010 is already starting to prove one for the record books.
Snow blankets the U.K.
The Arctic sea ice is on pace to be above normal for a third straight year.
And if I hear anymore alarmism in regards to sea level rise, I’m going to puke.
With continental plate shifts and seduction and volcanism, how can we blame sea rise as nothing more than a natural phenomena.
Jim Hansen and Gavin Schmidt are an embarrassment to science and should be removed from their profession.
Until that day, WUWT readers will be forced to see similar posts, because the [snip] would only complain that WUWT favors the reports on cooling.
Good Day !

NikFromNYC

Ho hum, same old same old: http://i49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg

Rainer Link, PhD

Fraud and/or stupidity?
From a scientific point of view this NASA press release is another fraud of the public.
We just escaped the aftermath of the Little Ice Age, lasting from 1350 to 1850.
Since 2001 we are on a temperature plateau, with slightly decreasing temperature anomalies. Therefor all last 10 years belong to the 10 warmest since 650 years, (eventually the 1940ies might have been equally warm if manipulation of temperature anomalies could be ruled out).
It is bad science from NASA to make a headline “warmest decade on record, 2009 second warmest”.
Of course, this scientific fraud is taken up by the alarmist and anthropogenic warming supporting press with great enthusiasm.
It is both fraud and stupidity!

UK Sceptic

Has the NASA cherry tree enjoyed ANOTHER bumper crop then?

Andrew P

If anyone believes this headline they should look at:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/ghcn-california-on-the-beach-who-needs-snow/
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/ghcn-asia-chinese-footprints-in-siberian-snow/
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/ghcn-south-america-siesta/
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/ghcn-antarctica-ice-on-the-rocks/
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/ghcn-gistemp-interactions-the-bolivia-effect/
Dubious station selection, deletions, and adjustments and homogenisation, no matter where you look. As the world becomes aware of the corruption and dishonesty within climate science, the pressure on NASA to fire Hansen and sgut down GISS can only grow.

David Alan

David Alan (01:44:28:
[Until that day, WUWT readers will be forced to see similar posts, because the [snip] would only complain that WUWT favors the reports on cooling.]
Oh man. that was funny. Snip the funniest line I’ve ever written.
How about, ‘the environmentally challenged pedantic purveyors of public opinion’ ?
Ha ha and more ha !
[Acceptable, and just as witty. Thank you. RT – mod]

brc

I forget : how do they explain the pause/decline in temperatures between 1940 and 1970? Surely this period saw an explosion in Co2 emitted?
Also, what’s the IPCC projection for increase in degrees per century?

Andrew P

Oh, I forgot to include UHI which must account for at least half the 0.5C warming in the last 30 years.
p.s. NikFromNYC (01:44:52) :
Ho hum, same old same old: http://i49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg

Ta for posting that, it’s a great jpg.

NS

“average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) since 1880.”
………………………………………
0.62 per century , and this is with natural post “little ice age” variability, UHI effects, and known data massaging……..

Ryan Stephenson

You have to admire their audacity. Two freezing winters and a cold wet summer here in the UK will ensure that their words fall on ever deafer ears.

Rhodrich

The tide is turning – even the BBC’s Richard Black agrees….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/01/reflections_in_a_confusing_cli.html

Tom

‘JohnH
I’ve looked at the unadjusted figures from Scotland for the stations that have been recording from 1930s up to 2008. The only one that shows any significant warming in the original data is Eskdalemuir . However once we correct for the “travesty” of lack of warming the picture changes substantially.
Ed’
Most of the former sheep farms round Eskdalemuir have been turned into commercial spruce forests in the last 50 years. Would be surprised if this major land use change has not made a slight difference to the local climate.

Baa Humbug

This excuse for a scientist Hansen was discredited long ago. See the WUWT story from 22/10/09
Why does this man still have a job? Let alone feature prominently in press releases.
Every time I see his picture he reminds me of a used car salesman (apologies to used car salesman)
Hansen (you agenda driven truth hiding) poor excuse for a man. A thousand curses on you and yours (I wish I could swear)

John Trigge

Step 1 of the GISS analysis method contains:
“Non-overlapping records are viewed as a single record, unless this would
result introducing a discontinuity; in the documented case of St.Helena
the discontinuity is eliminated by adding 1C to the early part.
After noticing an unusual warming trend in Hawaii, closer investigation
showed its origin to be in the Lihue record; it had a discontinuity around
1950 not present in any neighboring station. Based on those data, we added
0.8C to the part before the discontinuity.”
I am not a ‘climate scientist’ but the adding of ANY values to the ‘data’ seems a bit non-scientific to me.

gerard

Are these adjusted figures?