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Second Warmest January in Past 35

Global Temperature Report: January 2013

Second warmest January in past 35

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

January temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.55 C (about 0.99 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.46 C (about 0.83 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.

Tropics: +0.38 C (about 0.68 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for January.

December temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.21 C above 30-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.15 C above 30-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.26 C above 30-year average

Tropics: +0.14 C above 30-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released Feb. 6, 2013:

Globally, January 2013 was the second warmest January among the past 35, with an annual global average temperature that was 0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 30-year baseline average, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. January 2010 was the warmest January, while January 1998 is now pushed to third warmest.

Compared to seasonal norms, over the past month the coldest area on the globe was east central Russia near the town of Nyagan, where temperatures for the month averaged as much as 2.51 C (about 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms. Compared to seasonal norms, the “warmest” area on the globe in January was the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard, which is north of Norway and east of Greenland. Temperatures there averaged 4.1 C (about 7.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms for January.

Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:

The processed temperature data is available on-line at:

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, 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.

For Additional Information:

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

Dr. Roy Spencer | Newswise
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