Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Global Temperature Report: September 2009

A relatively routine El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event shouldn't cause the hottest tropical September in the past 31 years, but it did, according to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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
20-year average for September.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.55 C (about 0.99 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year
average for September.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.30 C (about 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year
average for September.
August temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.23 C above 20-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.28 C above 20-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.18 C above 20-year average
(All temperature variations are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) for
the month reported.)
Warmest Septembers, Tropics
(20 N to 20 S latitude, from about Havana in the north to Rio de Janeiro
in the south)
2009 +0.51 C
1987 +0.42 C
1997 +0.40 C
1998 +0.28 C
2005 +0.23 C
1995 +0.20 C
1980 +0.13 C
2002 +0.11 C
1983 +0.10 C
1991 +0.10 C
Warmest Septembers, Global
1998 +0.43 C
2009 +0.42 C
2005 +0.35 C
2002 +0.28 C
1988 +0.28 C
2006 +0.27 C
2003 +0.23 C
1995 +0.23 C
2007 +0.20 C
1980 +0.19 C
* * *
As part of an ongoing joint project between The University of Alabama in
Huntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal
research scientist in the ESSC, use data gathered by 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 for which reliable climate data are not otherwise
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 Spencer nor Christy 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
state and federal grants or contracts.
Dr. John Christy, UAH, (256) 961-7763
Dr. Roy Spencer, UAH, (256) 961-7960

Dr. John Christy | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk
20.10.2016 | European Geosciences Union

nachricht UM researchers study vast carbon residue of ocean life
19.10.2016 | University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>