NASA: Jan-July Hottest on Record, 2010 Shaping Up to be Warmest Year Yet

Image via NASA

Okay, you get it. It's hot. Perhaps I've been ticked off by one too many 'global cooling' myth purveyors, but here it is -- another story about how hot it is this summer, and this year in general. NASA has released another report showing that from Jan. to July, 2010 is still the hottest year ever recorded. Last July was in a three-way tie for the hottest of that month ever recorded. And yes, while it's still a bit uncertain, all signs seem to point to 2010 being the hottest year ever. Here's more from NASA, which released the info in an article aptly titled 'What Global Warming Looks Like':

The July 2010 global map of surface temperature anomalies [above figure], relative to the average July in the 1951-1980 period of climatology, provides a useful picture of current climate. It was more than 5°C (about 10°F) warmer than climatology in the eastern European region including Moscow. There was an area in eastern Asia that was similarly unusually hot. The eastern part of the United States was unusually warm, although not to the degree of the hot spots in Eurasia.
So, compared to the three decades from the 50s on, this here's some unusually hot stuff. There were some areas that were cooler than usual as well -- in northern Asia and southern South America. But as a whole, the story is a hot one:
The global average July 2010 temperature was 0.55°C warmer than climatology in the GISS analysis, which puts 2010 in practically a three way tie for third warmest July. July 1998 was the warmest in the GISS analysis, at 0.68°C.

Will calendar year 2010 be the warmest in the period of instrumental data? Figure 3 shows that through the first seven months 2010 is warmer than prior warm years. The difference of +0.08°C compared with 2005, the prior warmest year, is large enough that 2010 is likely, but not certain, to be the warmest year in the GISS record.

NASA notes that the current-running La Nina will continue for a couple more months, and the trend will likely cause temperatures from here on out to decline. But we'll still likely get the hottest year on record, and if not, it will be "indistinguishable" from the previous record-holder, 2005.

As for all the extreme weather, NASA includes some commentary on that as well:

What we can say is that global warming has an effect on the probability and intensity of extreme events. This is true for precipitation as well as temperature, because the amount of water vapor that the air carries is a strong function of temperature. So the frequency of extremely heavy rain and floods increases as global warming increases. But at times and places of drought, global warming can increase the extremity of temperature and associated events such as forest fires.
The science backing these assertions has been well demonstrated for years, but it's rare that we see such convincing data that climate change is happening right before our eyes, and already impacting the world in some major and unfortunate ways. This summer's weather certainly got Russia's leaders' attention -- maybe, just maybe, some of ours will be paying attention too.

Via Climate Progress
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Tags: Global Climate Change