Monday, May 6, 2013

2012 ninth warmest global average temperature in history

WHO: WMO Annual Climate Statement Confirms 2012 as Among Top Ten Warmest Years
GENEVA, 2 May 2013 (WMO) The World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate says that 2012 joined the ten previous years as one of the warmest — at ninth place — on record despite the cooling influence of a La Niña episode early in the year.

The 2012 global land and ocean surface temperature during January–December 2012 is estimated to be 0.45°C (±0.11°C) above the 1961–1990 average of 14.0°C. This is the ninth warmest year since records began in 1850 and the 27th consecutive year that the global land and ocean temperatures were above the 1961–1990 average, according to the statement. The years 2001–2012 were all among the top 13 warmest years on record.

“Although the rate of warming varies from year to year due to natural variability caused by the El Niño cycle, volcanic eruptions and other phenomena, the sustained warming of the lower atmosphere is a worrisome sign,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The continued upward trend in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and the consequent increased radiative forcing of the Earth’s atmosphere confirm that the warming will continue,” he said.

“The record loss of Arctic sea ice in August-September — 18% less than the previous record low of 2007 of 4.17 million km2 — was also a disturbing sign of climate change,” said Mr Jarraud. “The year 2012 saw many other extremes as well, such as droughts and tropical cyclones. Natural climate variability has always resulted in such extremes, but the physical characteristics of extreme weather and climate events are being increasingly shaped by climate change,” he said.

“For example, because global sea levels are now about 20 cm higher than they were in 1880, storms such as Hurricane Sandy are bringing more coastal flooding than they would have otherwise,” said Mr Jarraud.
Here are the last 60+ years in chronological order with El Niño and La Niña years marked. 2012 was warm despite the first half of the year taking place during a La Niña event, which cools down the planet.

With CO2 at levels not seen since the late Tertiary, the next El Niño year should set the new record for high temperatures.

Desdemona Despair has an even more striking graph arranging the fifty warmest years in order from hottest to coldest.  Unfortunately, it won't display here.

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