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What Global Warming Looks Like...So Far





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Contrary to a popular misconception, the rate of warming has not declined. Global temperature is rising as fast in the past decade as in the prior two decades, despite year-to-year fluctuations associated with the El Nino-La Nina cycle of tropical ocean temperature. Record high global 12-month running-mean temperature for the period with instrumental data was reached in 2010.

The July 2010 global map of surface temperature anomalies (Figure 1), relative to the average July in the 1951-1980 period of climatology, provides a useful picture of current climate.

Figure 1.
It was more than 5°C (about 10°F) warmer than climatology in the eastern European region including Moscow. There was an area in eastern Asia that was similarly unusually hot. The eastern part of the United States was unusually warm, although not to the degree of the hot spots in Eurasia. There were also substantial areas cooler than climatology, including a region in central Asia and the southern part of South America. The emerging La Nina is now moderately strong, as evidenced by the region cooler than climatology along the equator in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean.

The global average July 2010 temperature was 0.55°C warmer than climatology in the GISS analysis, which puts 2010 in practically a three way tie for third warmest July. July 1998 was the warmest in the GISS analysis, at 0.68°C.  Continued...


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