18th September - Today's News

From the New York Times there are updates on warm seas and Arctic ice - the actual NOAA news release is: Warmest global sea surface temperatures for August and Summer and reads:

The world’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August (Northern Hemisphere summer/Southern Hemisphere winter) season

~ ~ ~

Global Highlights – Summer

  • The June-August worldwide ocean surface temperature was also the warmest on record at 62.5 degrees F, 1.04 degrees F above the 20th century average of 61.5 degrees F.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the June-August season was 61.2 degrees F, which is the third warmest on record and 1.06 degrees F above the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees F.

Global Highlights – August

  • The worldwide ocean surface temperature of 62.4 degrees F was the warmest on record for any August, and 1.03 degrees F above the 20th century average of 61.4 degrees F.
  • Separately, the global land surface temperature of 58.2 degrees F was 1.33 degrees F above the 20th century average of 56.9 degrees F, and ranked as the fourth warmest August on record.
  • Large portions of the world’s land mass observed warmer-than-average temperatures in August. The warmest departures occurred across Australia, Europe, parts of the Middle East, northwestern Africa, and southern South America. Both Australia and New Zealand had their warmest August since their records began.
  • The Southern Hemisphere average temperatures for land and ocean surface combined were the warmest on record for August.
So a pretty warm summer overall despite a few cooler spots in parts of N American and Britain. How much is due to El Nino countering the (assumed) cooling effect of low solar activity and a negative PDO remains to be seen.

The next few years will be interesting because - El Nino aside - natural factors are currently shifting towards cooling. If we see little or no cooling it may well be the smoking gun for AGW. On the other hand, with no warming it will reinforce the views of some that anthropogenic factors are still not significant enough to overide natural factors and we have been wasting time and money worrying about such things.

In a press release dated 14th September, the Met Office have said that
the Met Office’s decadal forecast predicts renewed warming after 2010 with about half of the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the current warmest year on record.
Which is at least a prediction we will soon be able to measure ...... Personally I'm not expecting any year to be cooler than those of the 1990s and early 2000s and it's possible the warmest on record may occur before 2015 but I'd be very surprised indeed if 2 or 3 years were warmer than any recorded to date.

The main point of the press release though was to highlight a brief paper: Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions? - Knight etal which is well worth reading - even if you don't agree with it's conclusions.

Meanwhile other news:

Ice mission returns for a second go

Arctic ice melts to 3rd smallest area (or, if you prefer, Arctic ice continues to expand after the record low of 2007)

Solar cycle driven by more than sunspots

Lunar craters may be chilliest spots in solar system

Russia sends weather satellite into space - I hadn't realised they'd been relying on data from US and European satellites. That wouldn't have happened in the 1980s for sure!

Scientists complete first geological global map of Jupiter's satellite Ganymede

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