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Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 01/12/2011

2010 ties for warmest year on record

By Juliet Eilperin

Post Carbon warned you: 2010 has tied 2005 as the warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The preliminary analysis of the global surface temperature record was prepared by scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., and confirms what NASA scientists reported last month.

This marks the thirty-fourth consecutive year in which global temperatures have been above the 20th century average. For the contiguous United States alone, the 2010 average annual temperature was above normal, resulting in the 23rd warmest year on record.

By Juliet Eilperin  | January 12, 2011; 10:46 AM ET
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The timing of this report, as all but Florida has snow, will probably be viewed by naysayers as a hoax.

Posted by: gemniii | January 12, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's kinda hard to sell people on global warming when they're shoveling snow. Especially when December was colder than normal. And when avearges are just the difference between extremes. Thankfully with warmer years the average will be moving up so we'll get closer.

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 12, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Julie can forward her article to George Will. I'm sure he'll be glad to incorporate this new information in a forthcoming article denying global warming.

Posted by: dstop4 | January 12, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

leaving aside the fact that both 1934 and 1998 were warmer than 2010, isn't it a little disingenuous to say that 2010 is the warmest year 'on record' when ice core samples show that 9,100 of the other last 10,500 years were also warmer?

Posted by: homer32 | January 12, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess that this disproves the "fact" that warmer weather will bring more hurricanes to the US. The current forecast for Europe is the coldest winter in 1000 years.

Global Warming as a issue is BS....

Posted by: ezwriter | January 12, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The global temperature keeps rising. All of the stories about local weather, and what about Europe this winter etc. doesn't dispute that central concept.

That is IS warming is fact. Why it is warming is theory. Just because you do not like the political or governmental policy responses, or the tone of the rhetoric doesn't change the facts one whit.

One thing I would address however, is that it has been a long standing prediction, at least since the 90's, that European winters will get colder, perhaps drastically colder, as a consequence of climate change.

Surely anyone with a modicum of intelligence could see how global averages can rise while some local places cool. The temperature just increases more in the rest of the world. Its how we can have droughts in some places while we have flooding in others.

Posted by: reussere | January 12, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

GLOBAL 'WARMING' is a total hoax. You can't make a rational argument with these tree hugging fanatics because AWG is their 'religion' and they won't have it any other way, so, I won't even try. Maybe just ignoring them is the best course of action ....

Posted by: killerm1 | January 12, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a small sample size considering the earth is how many billions of years old?

Posted by: dave09 | January 12, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@killerm1: the "tree huggers" aren't the ones who are providing the evidence for global climate change. *Scientists* are providing that information, based on millions and millions of data points. You can ignore it as long as you won't but it won't change the facts.

Posted by: bikinibottom | January 12, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

dave09: small sample size... if we're talking about comparisons then we need to talk apples and apples. Earth 4 billion years ago didn't resemble the earth today -- didn't even have the same atmospheric composition. 4 billion years ago the earth's surface was covered with gases. So what would be the point of making comparisons back to the beginning of time? I assume we're all interested in knowing about modern climates that impact the plants and animals that support human life.

Posted by: bikinibottom | January 12, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, an exact tie. Imagine that.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 12, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

And my house got more snow during one week in February than the previous annual record had been.

Posted by: WmarkW | January 12, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The inability of GW deniers to see that, while it may be cold in one part of the earth, it can still be really hot in another is nothing short of astonishing. But then again, we can't let facts get in the way of good old-fashioned close-mindedness!

Posted by: stevie7 | January 12, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe 1998 was the biggest El Nino ever observed. 2010 also had an El Nino, but of smaller magnitude, and ended with a La Nina, which no doubt kept it from breaking the record. I assume that global temperatures in December 2010 will be less abnormally warm than earlier months. I assume 2005 also was an El Nino year.

The question does remain "Why didn't the temperatures during the 2000's rise like the 1990's, instead of essentially leveling off for the decade. Was it less solar radiation, more water vapor in the lower stratosphere, or what? It would be nice to understand shorter time scale variability better and to understand better the relative role of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, land use changes, black soot.

Global warming is occurring and a large part is anthropogenic. But if carbond dioxide is less important than current thought and methane, land use and black soot are more important, this has implications on how to deal with global warming.

Posted by: Dadmeister | January 12, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Liberal commie conspiracy.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | January 12, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Liberal commie conspiracy.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple


Yup, those liberal commie thermometers are all in it together.

Facts are facts - they generally don't have a political affiliation.

Posted by: stevie7 | January 12, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It is very interesting that many of the comments are about the climate record and how it was warmer tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago. I don't want to live in a world that looked like that, I like how it is now. If you want to live in a mud hut (lack of wood due to deforestation) in a world that has extreme weather (due to climate change) move somewhere that gives you that now. I like the climate we have now.
Humans and our civilization evolved in a world that is very similar to what we have now + or - a few degrees F. If we get this 8 degree C (14 F) degree change due to an atmospheric increase in greenhouse gases and positive feedback releasing more, we are going to move out of the temperature band that human civilization evolved in. I think we need to work on this now.

Posted by: join350org | January 12, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. Yes, hottest year since records have been kept. Records date back to 1880, or 130 years ago. Earth is 4 billion years old. Predicting earth's climate based on 130 years of data is like predicting the weather for the next year based on what happened during the past one second. You do the math. 130 years divided by 4 billion years, times 365 days/year, times 24 hours/day, times 60 minutes/hour, times 60 seconds/minute = 1.02 seconds.

Posted by: Chippewa | January 12, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@chippewa: no one is suggesting that we should take 130 years of records and project what is going to happen 4 billion years from now. What's being suggested is that we can look at what has happened over the last 130 years, along with everything we know about greenhouse gases, water vapor, solar radiation, etc., and try to see where we might be headed in the next 100 years.

Posted by: bikinibottom | January 12, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

GW believers, clean your own house first. Those lattes help warm the earth. So does your car. So does your I-phone. Live in the city? Your carbon footprint is a 13 EEEE. Buy goods made in China and Mexico? Worry about your own activities..... you'll be happier.

Posted by: rlmayville | January 12, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Guess what, nobody is trying to predict Earth's climate 4 billion years in the future. Man-made global warming is occurring on the decadal timescale. The 130-year record encompasses that.

@MattRogers1, are you trying to imply the thermometers conspired to tie for the warmest or what? You should know better than that.

Posted by: imback | January 12, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I believe that first and foremost, we need to get past the petty name calling. In all honesty, AGW is the only scientific area of study where I've ever heard of skeptics being referred to as "Deniers", and where skepticism is somehow being frowned upon by certain figures. Science is all about skepticism, and the development of proof which brings theories into laws, and so forth.

Even though I do not believe in AGW (Which I once did), I still respect those who do. AGW believers and skeptics alike both have great arguments, valid theories, and massive amounts of data to pour over.

Let's face it folks, the one thing that all of the debate proves is that there is no consensus, only a great debate. It is a very important debate, but it is far from the given notion that some would like you to believe. Keep on bringing forth the data, the theories, and the studies, but never forget the respect that is due to all!

Posted by: TheAnalyst | January 12, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

TheAnalyst, before you can earn respect, you must respect the evidence.

First of all, respect that there is indeed a scientific consensus. Over 97% of scientists accept man-made global warming. And every major scientific organization accepts man-made global warming.

These scientists base their acceptance on the physical evidence, which obviously supports man-made global warming too.

Posted by: imback | January 12, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. All predictions have failed. The selective use of data from only 130 years to bolster a cult has been proven wrong. The fact is Global Warming is nothing but the left's attempt to destroy the American middle income population who they hate more than any other group.

Posted by: Pilot1 | January 13, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The revelations of Climate Gate have had a significant deleterious impact on the trust that mainstream scientists have in the accuracy and precision of the IPCC temperature data base. The raw temperature data have been “adjusted” to account for urban heat island effects, altitude differences among stations, and for changes of locations of stations, that it is not possible to know the accuracy of the existing temperature record. The temperature data also have been adjusted by Jim Hansen to make it conform better to the hind cast calculations. For example, the temperature in Detroit in the 1930s is lower now than it was in 1990. GISS has changed the data.

The absence of a tropospheric hot spot demonstrates that the IPCC climate models do not accurately mimic the behavior of the Earth’s climate system. All of the 30 or so climate models predict that the temperature in the upper troposphere will rise at least 3 times faster than the temperature at the surface. Comparison of the surface data to the aerosonde and the satellite data, which are in excellent agreement, shows that the surface is warming faster than the predicted hot spot.

The lack of an accumulation of heat in either the atmosphere or the upper 2,000 feet of the ocean in the face of continuously increasing carbon dioxide concentrations shows that the climate must have some heat rejection mechanism that is unknown to the authors of the models.

These are the important physical parameters, which would indict carbon dioxide as an important cause of contemporary warming. Melting glaciers, warming temperatures, rising sea levels all are symptoms of a warming climate, but none of them constitutes proof that carbon dioxide is the cause of significant warming. Our climate has been warming for approximately 10,000 years since the end of the latest Ice Age. Carbon dioxide concentrations have been rising for only about 80 years. What caused the warming for the 9,920 years before then?

In short, we really do not know where 2010 fits into the hierarchy of past temperature records. The hypothesis that carbon dioxide causes significant climate warming has failed; real science would heavily modify or reject the hypothesis.

Where did the 97% of scientists agree that human influence drives global warming come from? Well, if you look at the article that produced that number, you will find that the authors started with a population of about 2500 IPCC scientists who responded to a poll. Approximately half of those polled responded. The authors then culled the population to remove scientists who have no real climatology experience, i.e. they took out all of the botanists and stuff. When they finished culling they had 74 scientists, all of whom participated in writing the Working Group I, "Causes", section of the IPCC report. Of that number, 72 agreed that carbon dioxide is the main driver of global warming. I am unimpressed.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | January 13, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The Deniers Have Won.
Now we charge the news editors with treason for leading us to a Bush-like false war against a false enemy of climate change.
Climate Change did to journalism and science what abusive priests did to religion.
Drop the CO2 and restart environmentalism anew with courage, instead of fear.

Posted by: paulmerrifield | January 14, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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