Temperature Trends

2016 Could Edge Out 1998 as Hottest Year in Satellite Temperature Record

U.N. climate change meeting opens today in Marrakech, Morocco.



As the 22nd conference of the parties (COP-22) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes today in Marrakech, Morocco, the folks at the University of Alabama in Huntsville report that 2016 might well be the warmest in the satellite record that started back in 1979. Every month climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer update the temperature data from derived from NOAA satellites. For October, 2016 they report:

A La Niña Pacific Ocean cooling event strengthened slightly in October, with tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures cooling a bit, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The cooling Pacific released heat into the atmosphere, likely causing a slight warming in the tropical troposphere. If the La Niña continues as forecast, cooling atmospheric temperatures will likely follow after a lag of a month or two.

If global average temperatures stay warm for another two months, that could push 2016 into position as the warmest calendar year in the satellite global temperature record. For the first ten months of the year, 2016 is a trifling amount (0.007 C) cooler than 1998, well within the margin of error. The two years could end in a statistical tie. Temperatures in both 1998 and 2016 were raised by an El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event.


Global Temperature Report: October 2016

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.12 C per decade

October temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.41 C (about 0.74 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.42 C (about 0.76 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.

Tropics: +0.46 C (about 0.83 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.

Go here to see the monthly satellite temperature data since December, 1978.