2010 wettest year, tied for hottest - NOAA
- 12 Jan 2011, 10:54
2010 temperature anomaly plot - although Europe experienced
a cold winter, this had limited significance on the global scale.
The world has just witnessed the joint hottest year on record in
terms of surface temperatures, according to data released today by
National Climatic Data Center in the United States.
The combined land and ocean temperature tied with 2005 as the
warmest ever recorded with temperatures 1.12 degrees F above the
average for the last century.
"The global land surface temperatures for 2010 were the warmest
on record at 1.80 F (1.00 C) above the 20th century average,"
according to the NCDC, which is part of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration of the US Department of Commerce.
"Combined global land and ocean annual surface temperatures for
2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record at 1.12 F
(0.62 C) above the 20th century average," the report adds. The
results show temperatures have now been above the 20th century
average for 34 years in a row.
The records are consistent with evidence that the release of
carbon dioxide through burning fossil fuels is causing global
The announcement also appears to confirm
predictions by the Met Office in the United Kingdom a year ago
that 2010 would be the warmest or second warmest on record.
A statement from the Met Office from December 2009 said:
The latest forecast from our climate
scientists, shows the global temperature is forecast to be almost
0.6 °C above the 1961-90 long-term average. This means that it
is more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the
The Met Office was
criticised for making the prediction last month when Britain
coldest December for a century. However, the low temperatures
in Europe in the final month of the year were not enough to bring
the global annual average down to previous temperatures.
The NCDC report also quotes the Global Historical Climatology
Network finding that 2010 was the wettest year on record. The
Atlantic experienced 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes - the third
greatest number of storms on record and the second greatest number
of hurricanes. In contrast, the 2010 Pacific had the fewest named
storms and hurricanes on record.
Arctic sea ice also reached the third lowest level of summer sea
ice on record in 2010, with only 2007 and 2008 seeing less ice.