Every month University of Alabama in Birmingham Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer publish the latest global temperature trend data obtained from NOAA satellites. This month Christy offers a round up of the data on global warming trends from the past 36 years. He notes:
This report represents the completion of 36 years (December 1978 through November 2014) of global temperature data collected by microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites. During that time the global atmosphere has warmed an average of 0.14 C per decade, or just over one-half degree C (0.91 degrees Fahrenheit) in 36 years (emphasis added).
That warming has not, however, been uniform around the globe. The fastest warming has been over the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic portions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Those areas have warmed at the rate of 0.49 C per decade, or more than 1.76 C (about 3.17 degrees Fahrenheit) in 36 years. The fastest warming spot is in Baffin Bay, where temperatures have risen 0.82 C per decade since 1978.
By comparison, the oceans surrounding the Antarctic are cooling at the rate of 0.02 C per decade, or 0.07 C since December 1978. The fastest cooling area is in East Antarctica near Dome C, where temperatures have been dropping at the rate of 0.50 C per decade.
Driven in part by those contrasting regions, the Northern Hemisphere is warming more than twice as fast as the Southern Hemisphere (0.19 C per decade vs. 0.09 C per decade).
The contiguous 48 U.S. states have an average warming rate of 0.22 C (almost 0.40 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade during the past 36 years. That means the average atmospheric temperature over the lower 48 has warmed by 0.79 C or about 1.43 degrees Fahrenheit during that time (emphasis added).
November 2014 is second warmest November in the 36-year global satellite temperature record. The University of Alabama in Birmingham Huntsville press release adds:
Global Temperature Report: November 2014
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
November temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.33 C (about 0.60 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for November.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.36 C (about 0.65 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for November.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.30 C (about 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for November.
Tropics: +0.25 C (about 0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for November.
November 2014 was the second warmest November in the 36-year global satellite temperature record, 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. With a global average temperature that was 0.33 C (about 0.60 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms, November 2014 trailed only November 2009, which averaged 0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms.
The tropics slowly warmed through November in response to modest warming in the El Niño regions of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
Note: Starting Monday, I will be doing daily dispatches from the United Nations climate change conference in Lima, Peru.
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