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Land-sea data show this year’s June-August the 2nd warmest ever

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August 2010 Land Surface Temperature. Anomalies in degrees Celsius. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

August 2010 Land Surface Temperature. Anomalies in degrees Celsius. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is available. The analysis has said that the combined global land and ocean surface temperature during June-August 2010 was 16.2°C (61.3°F), which is 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F).

This has caused the second warmest June-August on record, behind 1998. Warmer-than-average temperatures were present across most of the world’s land surface, with the warmest anomalies observed across eastern Europe, the eastern half of the contiguous US, and parts of eastern Canada, and eastern Asia.

However, cooler-than-average conditions were present across parts of central Russia and southern South America. Overall, the worldwide land-only surface temperature ranked as the warmest on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). The June-August 2010 worldwide land-only surface temperature was 1.00°C (1.80°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F).

August 2010 Blended Land and Sea Surface. Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

August 2010 Blended Land and Sea Surface. Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Meanwhile, the worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), resulting in the fifth warmest such period on record. The Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific oceans had warmer-than-average conditions, while the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and along the North and South American Pacific coast, experienced cooler-than-average conditions associated with a developing La Niña.

  • The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for August 2010 was the third warmest on record at 16.2°C (61.2°F), which is 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F). August 1998 is the warmest August on record and 2009 is the second warmest.
  • The August worldwide land surface temperature was 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F)—the second warmest August on record, behind 1998.
  • June–August 2010 Precipitation Anomalies in Millimeters. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    June–August 2010 Precipitation Anomalies in Millimeters. Image: August 2010 global analysis of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    • The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F) and tied with 1997 as the sixth warmest August on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June–August 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998, at 16.2°C (61.3°F), which is 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F).
  • The June–August worldwide land surface temperature was 1.00°C (1.80°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F)—the warmest June–August on record, surpassing the previous June–August record anomaly of 0.92°C (1.66°F) set in 1998.
  • The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F) and was the fifth warmest June–August on record.
  • For January–August 2010, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.7°C (58.5°F) tied with 1998 as the warmest January–August period on record. This value is 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average.

Warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across much of the world’s land surface during August 2010, with the warmest anomalies observed across the eastern half of the contiguous United States, eastern Canada, much of Europe, northwestern Africa, and parts of Asia. However, cooler-than-average temperatures were present across southern South America, central Russia, and most of Australia. When averaging the global land surface temperatures, the worldwide land surface temperature for August 2010 ranked as the second warmest on record, behind 1998. August 2010 temperature was 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F).

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How June 2010 blazed new climate records, and the story of Rongbuk glacier

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NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate, Global Analysis, June 2010It’s been another searing half year from January 2010 to June. Global temperature records have been surpassed all over the place. Both land and sea temperatures have climbed upwards to match previous highs, and in some places to top them. Here are the global highlights for June 2010 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate, Global Analysis, June 2010:

* The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 16.2°C (61.1°F), which is 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). The previous record for June was set in 2005.
* June 2010 was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record). This was the 304th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.
NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate, Global Analysis, June 2010* The June worldwide averaged land surface temperature was 1.07°C (1.93°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F)—the warmest on record.
* It was the warmest April–June (three-month period) on record for the global land and ocean temperature and the land-only temperature. The three-month period was the second warmest for the world’s oceans, behind 1998.
* It was the warmest June and April–June on record for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and all land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
* It was the warmest January–June on record for the global land and ocean temperature. The worldwide land on average had its second warmest January–June, behind 2007. The worldwide averaged ocean temperature was the second warmest January–June, behind 1998.
* Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to decrease during June 2010. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.

NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate, Global Analysis, June 2010The ‘State of the Climate, Global Analysis’ for June 2010 said that warmer-than-average conditions dominated the globe during the month, with the most prominent warmth in Mexico, northern Africa, and most of Europe, Asia, South America, and the USA. The world land surface temperature June 2010 anomaly of 1.07°C (1.93°F) was the warmest on record, surpassing the previous June record set in 2005 by 0.12°C (0.22°F).

The warm conditions that affected large portions of each inhabited continent also contributed to the warmest June worldwide land and ocean surface temperature since records began in 1880. The previous June record was set in 2005. Separately, the worldwide ocean surface temperatures during June 2010 were 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average—the fourth warmest June on record. Warmer-than-average conditions were present across most of the Atlantic, Indian, and the western Pacific oceans.

NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate, Global Analysis, June 2010“June 2010 was the fourth consecutive month with reported warmest averaged global land and ocean temperature on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record),” said the Global Analysis for the month. “When averaging the last three months, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature during April–June 2010 (three-month period) ranked as the warmest April–June on record, with an anomaly of 0.70°C (1.26°F) above the 20th century average. The previous April–June record was set in 1998, which had an anomaly of 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average.”

The areas with the wettest anomalies during June 2010 included southern India, southern China, southern Europe, the midwestern USA, and parts of northwestern South America. The driest anomalies were present across northern India and across parts eastern Asia, northeastern South America, and Australia. There was climate havoc in China. According to the Beijing Climate Center (BCC), the provinces of Guizhou, Fujian, and Qinghai had above-average precipitation during June 2010, ranking as the second wettest June since national records began in 1951.

The BCC also reported that ten provinces in southern China were affected by storms that brought heavy rainfall across the area—resulting in record breaking daily rainfall in some places of Jiangxi and Fujian. The copious rainfall prompted floods that killed nearly 200 people. Meanwhile, the province of Jiangsu had its driest June on record, while Shanxi had its second driest on record. Overall, the monthly averaged precipitation in China during June 2010, 95.0 mm (3.7 inches), was near the 1971–2000 average.

Asia Society-The 1921 photograph taken by George Mallory of the Rongbuk Glacier and the northern slope of Mount Everest in the distance, Tibet Autonomous Region

Asia Society-The 1921 photograph taken by George Mallory of the Rongbuk Glacier and the northern slope of Mount Everest in the distance, Tibet Autonomous Region

The impact of a succession of record warm Junes is described in photographic detail by an eye-opening exhibit of the Asia Society. (The Telegraph of Britain had an early report on the startling photos.) The two pictures show an alarming retreat in ice over more than 80 years.

The first was taken in 1921 by British mountaineer George Mallory. The Asia Society commissioned the same picture to be taken of the main Rongbuk glacier on the northern slope of Mount Everest in Tibet in 2007.

The new picture by mountaineer David Breashears show that the glacier is shrunk and withered. Breashears retraced the steps of the 1921 British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition Team, using photos taken then by surveyor and photographer Maj Edward Wheeler and amateur photographer George Mallory, who later died attempting to reach the Everest summit in 1924.

Asia Society-The 2007 photograph taken by David Breashears of the Rongbuk Glacier taken from the same place as Mallory's 1921 photograph

Asia Society-The 2007 photograph taken by David Breashears of the Rongbuk Glacier taken from the same place as Mallory's 1921 photograph

The Himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, as is starkly documented in photographic comparisons between archival images and recent photographs taken by mountaineer David Breashears in the new Asia Society Museum exhibition Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers in the Greater Himalaya. “That melting also has a profound impact on the local communities the Himalayan glaciers serve, and has emerged as a primary bellwether of global climate change,” said the Asia Society.

The surface area of glaciers in these high altitude valleys is often covered by layers of debris or snow. To determine the full measure of loss in the ice mass in these photos, look not only at how far the glaciers have receded, but at the surrounding valley walls. In many cases, the loss in depth is upwards of 300 vertical feet.