From record-breaking heatwaves to drought and fires, on a global scale the summer of 2010 will undoubtedly go down in the books as one of the most extreme for the northern hemisphere. But how extreme and how hot... and how does it compare to years prior?
According to recently released information by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), globally, June through August was the fourth-warmest summer period in GISS's 131-year-temperature record. The same months during 2009, in contrast, were the second warmest on record. The cooler 2010 summer temperatures (and by cooler I mean SLIGHTLY and UNNOTICEABLE by many) were primarily the result of the current La Niña pattern replacing El Niño which has controlled our weather for the better part of the last year or so.
Looking at this information you probably cannot help but wonder if this trend points towards a warming planet, especially when global seasonal temperatures for the spring of 2010 also were the warmest on record. It is the public's instinct to look at local temperature anomalies and draw that conclusion, but GISS says these trends have limited relevance on a global scale.
In reviewing some interesting data, I personally made note that 2010 is shaping up very similar to 2005 which was THE warmest year on record. We are looking at similar atmospheric patterns, and that includes the current influences on the Atlantic hurricane season. GISS believes 2010 will end up measuring sufficiently close to 2005 and the last few months of the year will be very telling as that is the period that brought 2005 from being one of the warmest to THE warmest.
Here are some links to previous posts I've written on the extremes of summer 2010!
Heat Wave to Continue Choking mid-Atlantic, Northeast U.S. (July 6, 2010)
NEQ Friday Review, V.10 (July 9, 2010)
Extreme Heat Could Become Summer's Norm (July 22, 2010)
Russia Heat Wave is OUT OF CONTROL! (August 10, 2010)
Global Extremities of Summer 2010 (August 17, 2010)
2010 U.S. Summer Review (September 15, 2010)
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