Forgetting that the planet has seasons, climate denialists for months have been hoo-hooing about snowfalls and cold weather. Some of the more serious propagandists among them claim that the Earth is now in a cooling cycle, and that temperatures have been falling since the record hot year of 1998.
NASA GISS [Goddard Institute for Space Studies] has released the estimated monthly temperature for December 2009, which closes out the year 2009, which closes out the decade of the 2000s. The result: 2005 is still the hottest calendar year, 2009 is the 2nd-hottest year ever, although it’s really in a statistical tie with 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007.
They’ve confused weather with climate. They’ve failed to keep score. Perhaps they’ve spent wasted their time hacking e-mails instead of measuring climate.
The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records, in the surface temperature analysis of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world. Global mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1a, was 0.57°C (1.0°F) warmer than climatology (the 1951-1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1b, was 0.49°C (0.88°F) warmer than in the period of climatology.
How will the critics treat this news? And, what were they doing during the past decade when all those warm days rolled into weeks, rolled into months and years, and finally, to the warmest decade ever?
Heat things up a bit, and spread the alarm: