On top of a record-setting month in the tropics, September 2009 was also the second warmest September on record both globally and in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Who would have predicted those temperatures in the atmosphere when the sea surface temperature has been bumping along so nonchalantly?" Christy asked.
Normally, warming in the atmosphere during an El Nino is somewhat linked to rising sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. Atmospheric temperatures in September, however, were significantly warmer than might have been predicted based on sea surface temps.
"Sea surface temps for September in a key region of the Pacific were on the order of 0.83 C warmer than average, and the tropical atmosphere was 0.51 C warmer than seasonal norms," Christy said. "We've seen water temps about this warm twice in the past decade (2004-2005 and 2006-2007) without seeing this surge in the atmosphere.
"If you go back to the big El Nino of 1997-1998, sea surface temps (SSTs) in September 1997 in that same part of the Pacific were about 2.29 C warmer than normal, but the tropical atmosphere was only 0.4 C above average.
"Other things drive atmospheric temperatures in addition to SSTs, so it seems this would have been a warm September even without the El Nino."
Bands of air warmer than seasonal norms circled the Equator in September, while also cover much of the Central Pacific, Northern and Southeastern Asia, and Africa. Warmer air stretched in one wide band from the Antarctic across Australia, the Philippines, China and Siberia into the Arctic.
Compared to seasonal norms, the warmest air (as much as 5.5 C warmer than season norms) covered most of Canada -- although some ski resorts in portions of the Western U.S. are opening at the earliest dates on record.
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade
September temperatures (preliminary)Global composite temp.: +0.42 C (about 0.76 degrees Fahrenheit) above
Dr. John Christy | Newswise Science News
Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores
24.01.2017 | University of Utah
New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine