Image via NOAA
Hottest January in Satellite Record Followed by 2nd Hottest February
In February, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported that last January was the hottest January in the satellite records. Then, last February was confirmed to be the second hottest in the satellite records. And now? Well, the trend appears to be continuing: record-breaking temperatures have already been recorded in the first half of March--making it a prime candidate for the hottest March on satellite record. Has the global cooling meme run out of steam? Climate Progress's Joe Romm predicts that such trends will help put an end to the persistent 'global cooling' memes embraced in some corners of the media. He writes:
The yellow line [in the graph above] is the 20-year average temperature, the purple line is of the 20-year "record highs," and the green line is the 2010 temperature ... Other temperature datasets show slightly different results. For NASA, January and February were tied for the second hottest on record.He goes on to explain how satellite data shows the "uber-Nino" year of 1998 to be the warmest year on record, and we haven't seen a year that hot since, according to the satellite records. So, if you looked only at the last 12 years, you were able to argue that since global temps recorded in satellite data were cooler than those recorded in 1998, the globe must have cooled. Hence, the global cooling meme.
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." The vast majority of the warming went right where scientists had predicted -- into the oceans.
In fact, 2005 was the hottest year on record in both NOAA's and NASA's dataset -- and in every dataset, the 2000s were the hottest decade on record.
Of course, if you look at more than just the last 12 years, you see that the trend has continued towards (relatively) steadily warming recorded global temperatures. But regardless, global temps recorded by satellites this year are surpassing or at least rivaling those of even the extraordinarily hot 1998.
Could this be end of the misleading global cooling meme, once and for all?