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Climate Change land-temperature-anomalies-2009

Published on January 8th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

14

Not Cold Everywhere

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January 8th, 2010 by Zachary Shahan 

There’s a bit of news coverage right now about the cold weather that’s hitting certain parts of the world, but don’t jump into the idea that we’ve entered global cooling. Take a look at the rest of the world and a little historical perspective, as well as the reason why some of us are getting this cold weather in the first place.

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2009 5th Warmest Year on Record

Despite many people claiming that colder weather in certain places is a sure sign that climate change (or global warming) is nonsense, take a look at this fact: 2009 was the 5th warmest year on global record (since 1850).

It’s Relatively Warm in Much of the World

Additionally, while Europe and my home state of Florida may be seeing some abnormally cold weather, other places (i.e. Canada, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and south-west Asia) have been seeing abnormally warm weather lately. In many places it has been more than 5 °C above normal and even 10 °C higher than normal in some parts of northern Canada (see the map at the top of the article to compare abnormally warm areas with abnormally cold areas).

Why is It So Cold in Europe?

Why is it so cold in Europe? The Met Office tells us that, “over the past three weeks the Atlantic air has been ‘blocked’ and cold air has been flowing down from the Arctic or the cold winter landmass of Europe.” So, whereas we normally get the warming effect of that warm current, we have been getting the opposite since about Christmas — cold air currents from the north and northeast.

Oceans Warm, Too

As Climate Progress shows us, this warmer weather (globally) is not just on land but also in the oceans.

Just a couple weeks ago, the Australian weather bureau let us know that “Central Pacific Ocean surface temperatures are now at their warmest level since the El Niño of 1997-98.” The warm water has continued into this week, a more recent report shows. Global temperature anomalies in the oceans for December 28th through January 3rd are presented visually in the graphic below from the Australian weather bureau.

In addition to this report from the Australians, the NOAA also just reported that “El Niño strengthened during December 2009, with above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) encompassing the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Weekly values of the Niño-3.4 index increased slightly with the most recent value reaching +1.8°C.”

Short-term Weather Events Not the Same as Long-term Climate Change

Of course, we have to look more broadly, across the globe, when reporting whether or now global temperatures are warmer than normal of colder than normal. However, more important than that, we must keep our eye on the long-term changes, not just the short-term weather events (which are always going to vary).

A good recent article on ecopolitology, “Communicating Climate Change: The ‘Isolated Weather Event’ Problem“, discusses this.

Also, remember the point above — 2009 was the 5th warmest year on global record — as well as the fact that this last decade was the hottest decade on record and the 13 hottest years on record have been in the last 15 years.

Climate change (i.e. human-induced, extremely fast and catastrophic climate change) isn’t happening? Even if the next 7 years become cooler again, the long-term data would probably show an unnerving warming trend. However, top scientists (James Hansen and the UK Met Office) predict that 2010 will break the record again and become the hottest year recorded.

via Climate Progress

Related Stories:

1) CIA (Yes, the Spies) to Coordinate with Climate Scientists

2) Sea Level Rise of Up to 1.9 Meters (6′3″) This Century?

3) Lasers from Space Show Ice Sheets Thinning — Greenland and Antarctica

4) Oceans Absorbing CO2, Preventing Climate Change — Good, Right? No

Images 1 & 2: via Met Office

Image 3: via Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Datadon

    What is interesting in your LST anomalies temperature map is that if you really look without looking for anything in particular, you see a normal map of a wide range of temperatures. I bet that you can bring up any other year and you will see a very similar reflection of temperature swings..swings that have been happening for tens of thousands of years! But if you are looking to state a case you can see more dark red if you are looking for global warming and more dark blue if you are looking for global cooling. There is so much current evidence that we are going into a cooling trend that you are sticking your head in the sand not to see it. the “Coolers” have been saying for years, maybe decades now, that you can not go on small amounts of data to state your case. They repeatedly said that you need hundreds of years data when the “Warmers” would state that the last few years or decades shown a warming trend. Now the warmers want to use that argument against the coolers…that is hypocrisy. And it also is hypocrisy for the coolers to say so the other way around. However, the warmers always said that the more and more emission of C02 into the air will cause CONTINUED INCREASES of temperatures and that there is, or maybe is, no retreat. Never…NEVER…have they had a model showing upcoming cooling for an extended time frame, say 30 or 50 years, due to less solar activity. However , now they are! Their stated point was that the solar activity was not the overriding factor to any temperature change. Now they do? You can not have it both was…your creditability is lost! You been telling the world that doomsday is around the corner and maybe it is already too late for real change…a 5 to 6 degree change in the next century…now you revise it because of observations instead of models! How do you think that you have any reliability left. C02 emissions continue to rise at faster rates then predicted but the temperatures cool? That is contrary to what you preached for decades. Now you say the lack of solar activity will cause a temporary slowing in the increase of Global Warming? Solar activity was never in the cards for the warmers. However, the coolers always stated that solar activity was the key component. Now what do you say to the critics that have proof that the solar activity for the past 50 years was the strongest it has been in over 1000 years! (Solar activity records have been kept far more longer than temperature records so there are no modern to guess at) That is what the coolers are saying that caused the recent warming trend and they have the records the coincide with temperatures. The warmers conjecture is currently being disproved. More C02 equals higher temperatures just isn’t happening! Tell us what happened to that…tell us why that has changed otherwise the theory is debunked. Was that…is that…not the warmers continued mantra…we need to stop C02 emissions or we will continue global warming?

    Riddle me this Robin! We have much more C02 but less temperature rise. If that is the warmers stated cause of global warming, why is it cooling now? And Robin…don’t give any Bull Shit!

  • Datadon

    What is interesting in your LST anomalies temperature map is that if you really look without looking for anything in particular, you see a normal map of a wide range of temperatures. I bet that you can bring up any other year and you will see a very similar reflection of temperature swings..swings that have been happening for tens of thousands of years! But if you are looking to state a case you can see more dark red if you are looking for global warming and more dark blue if you are looking for global cooling. There is so much current evidence that we are going into a cooling trend that you are sticking your head in the sand not to see it. the “Coolers” have been saying for years, maybe decades now, that you can not go on small amounts of data to state your case. They repeatedly said that you need hundreds of years data when the “Warmers” would state that the last few years or decades shown a warming trend. Now the warmers want to use that argument against the coolers…that is hypocrisy. And it also is hypocrisy for the coolers to say so the other way around. However, the warmers always said that the more and more emission of C02 into the air will cause CONTINUED INCREASES of temperatures and that there is, or maybe is, no retreat. Never…NEVER…have they had a model showing upcoming cooling for an extended time frame, say 30 or 50 years, due to less solar activity. However , now they are! Their stated point was that the solar activity was not the overriding factor to any temperature change. Now they do? You can not have it both was…your creditability is lost! You been telling the world that doomsday is around the corner and maybe it is already too late for real change…a 5 to 6 degree change in the next century…now you revise it because of observations instead of models! How do you think that you have any reliability left. C02 emissions continue to rise at faster rates then predicted but the temperatures cool? That is contrary to what you preached for decades. Now you say the lack of solar activity will cause a temporary slowing in the increase of Global Warming? Solar activity was never in the cards for the warmers. However, the coolers always stated that solar activity was the key component. Now what do you say to the critics that have proof that the solar activity for the past 50 years was the strongest it has been in over 1000 years! (Solar activity records have been kept far more longer than temperature records so there are no modern to guess at) That is what the coolers are saying that caused the recent warming trend and they have the records the coincide with temperatures. The warmers conjecture is currently being disproved. More C02 equals higher temperatures just isn’t happening! Tell us what happened to that…tell us why that has changed otherwise the theory is debunked. Was that…is that…not the warmers continued mantra…we need to stop C02 emissions or we will continue global warming?

    Riddle me this Robin! We have much more C02 but less temperature rise. If that is the warmers stated cause of global warming, why is it cooling now? And Robin…don’t give any Bull Shit!

  • loopzlp

    Scotland is in the UK…Cold weather in the UK isn’t a new thing, it’s just not recent thing…plus it’s not that cold here. -1 is nothing to harp on about, nor is -18….

  • loopzlp

    Scotland is in the UK…Cold weather in the UK isn’t a new thing, it’s just not recent thing…plus it’s not that cold here. -1 is nothing to harp on about, nor is -18….

  • http://globalwarmthis.blogspot.com/ Ladrones Mentira

    As of this writing, this Winter, there are record snowfalls and record shattering frigid temperatures globally from China, W. Korea, Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, Nepal, Finland, Austria, Norway, Seoul, Germany, Bangladesh, France,The United Kingdom, Texas, Iowa, Massachusetts, British Columbia, Scotland, to Florida, and our “experts” have gone underground because apparently Hell is freezing over. And it appears to me that we have been duped by possibly one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, leaving the believers scratching their heads scrambling to find rationale where there is none.

  • http://globalwarmthis.blogspot.com/ Ladrones Mentira

    As of this writing, this Winter, there are record snowfalls and record shattering frigid temperatures globally from China, W. Korea, Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, Nepal, Finland, Austria, Norway, Seoul, Germany, Bangladesh, France,The United Kingdom, Texas, Iowa, Massachusetts, British Columbia, Scotland, to Florida, and our “experts” have gone underground because apparently Hell is freezing over. And it appears to me that we have been duped by possibly one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, leaving the believers scratching their heads scrambling to find rationale where there is none.

  • chrisp68

    It’s far too late when we have summer in winter. Then you might as well call it simmer.

  • chrisp68

    It’s far too late when we have summer in winter. Then you might as well call it simmer.

  • ColdInTexas

    How many years will it take to show abnormal cooling trend? If global warming (climate change) causes more severe weather, then why is the “Global Tropical Cyclone Activity” trending down since 1994 and remains near 30-year + lows (http://coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/) and “Number of Strong to Violent (F3-F5) Tornadoes” in US trending down since 1974 (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/tornado/tornadotrend.jpg)?

  • ColdInTexas

    How many years will it take to show abnormal cooling trend? If global warming (climate change) causes more severe weather, then why is the “Global Tropical Cyclone Activity” trending down since 1994 and remains near 30-year + lows (http://coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/) and “Number of Strong to Violent (F3-F5) Tornadoes” in US trending down since 1974 (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/tornado/tornadotrend.jpg)?

  • a.skeptic

    If you believe the weatherman then you will believe anything.

    More religion anyone?

  • a.skeptic

    If you believe the weatherman then you will believe anything.

    More religion anyone?

  • Chris V

    With global warming, we’re talking about a change of 1-2 degrees over a normal year’s temperatures. So, if it’s normal that you get 0-degree weather in winter, then with global warming you should expect a big increase from 0 to… 1-2 degrees.

    People looking at this cold weather and stating that it disproves global warming seem to expect summer weather in winter when that’s not what the scientists have said at all.

  • Chris V

    With global warming, we’re talking about a change of 1-2 degrees over a normal year’s temperatures. So, if it’s normal that you get 0-degree weather in winter, then with global warming you should expect a big increase from 0 to… 1-2 degrees.

    People looking at this cold weather and stating that it disproves global warming seem to expect summer weather in winter when that’s not what the scientists have said at all.

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