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December Ocean Temperature 2nd Warmest

Posted by feww on January 23, 2010

Overall 2009 Annual Temperatures Joint Fifth-Warmest

The 2009 December global ocean temperature was  the second warmest on record, The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


The map shows temperature changes for the last decade — January 2000 to December 2009 — relative to the 1951-1980 mean. Warmer areas are in red, cooler areas in blue. The largest temperature increases occurred in the Arctic and a portion of Antarctica. (Image credit: NASA). Click image to enlarge.

The overall 2009 annual temperatures was a joint fifth-warmest, their records show.

“Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly NCDC analysis is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides. Scientists also reported the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the eighth warmest on record for December,” according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

  • Global temperatures in 2009  tied with 2006 as the fifth-warmest on record.
  • The planet’s land surface temperatures in 2009 tied with 2003 as  seventh-warmest.
  • The overall annual ocean surface temperatures were fourth-warmest, joint position with 2002 and 2004.

Highlights for December 2009

The global ocean temperature was the second warmest on record, trailing 1997.

  • The temp anomaly was about one degree F (0.97ºF) above the 20th century average of 60.4ºF.
  • Global land and ocean surface temperatures combined were the eighth warmest since 1880, at 0.88ºF above the 20th century average of 54.0ºF.
  • The global land surface temperature was 0.63ºF above the 20th century average of 38.7ºF—the coolest December anomaly since 2002.

Global Temperature Highlights for 2009

  • In 2009, the annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 1.01ºF above the 20th century average of 58.0ºF sharing joint fifth-warmest position with 2006.

The average decadal temperature for the 2000-09 decade was 57.9ºF, the warmest on record topping the 1990-99 average by 0.02ºF, NCDC scientists said.

Other Heat Highlights

  • December Arctic sea ice cover was  an average of 12.4 million km² (4.8 million square miles),  falling 6.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent and the fourth lowest December extent since 1979, when records began.
  • “Antarctic sea ice extent in December was 2.1 percent above the 1979-2000 average, resulting in the 14th largest December extent on record. December Arctic sea ice extent has decreased by 3.3 percent per decade since 1979, while December Antarctic sea ice extent has increased by 0.6 percent per decade over the same period.”
  • Snow cover in Northern Hemisphere during December 2009 was the second largest on record, chasing 1985. “North American snow cover for December 2009 was the largest extent since satellite records began in 1967.”

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2 Responses to “December Ocean Temperature 2nd Warmest”

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