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August 2010 Slips in (Barely) as Second Hottest

Global Temperature Report: August 2010

August 2010 slips in (barely) as second hottest

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade

August temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.67 C (about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.35 C (about 0.63 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Tropics: +0.36 C (about 0.65 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

July temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.49 C above 20-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.64 C above 20-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.34 C above 20-year average

Tropics: +42 C above 20-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released Sept. 7, 2010:

August 2010 was the second hottest August in the 32-year satellite temperature dataset, with a global average temperature that was only 0.01 C cooler than the record set in August 1998, according to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. That difference is well within the error range of the measurement, however, so the two months might as well be tied for the hottest August in 32 years.

As the El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event continues to fade, 2010 remains the second hottest year in the record, with average daily temperatures through August that were only 0.06 C (about one-tenth of one degree Fahrenheit) cooler than the record set in 1998 -- also during an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event.

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the ESSC, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA

satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a "public" computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.

Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from

federal and state grants or contracts.

Dr. John Christy, (256) 961-7763
Dr. Roy Spencer, (256) 961-7960

Dr. John Christy | Newswise Science News
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