Written by Daniel Hohler.
Published on October 21st. 2009
This week The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) revealed that last month was the second hottest land and ocean temperature on record for the month of September. NOAA’s records date back to 1880. In the 100 plus year history, only September 2005 showed warmer temperatures.
This is a concerning trend, considering the 2 warmest months of September (the last month of summer) out of 129 years of record keeping, have been felt in the last 4 years. Scientists, researchers, and leaders in government and industry use NCDC’s monthly reports to help track trends and other changes in the world’s climate.
Here are the stats via NOAAs:
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.12 degrees F above the 20th century average of 59.0 degrees F.
Separately the global land surface temperature was 1.75 degrees F above the 20th century average of 53.6 degrees F.
Warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed most of the world’s land areas during the month. The greatest warmth occurred across Canada and the northern and western contiguous United States. Warmer-than-normal conditions also prevailed across Europe, most of Asia and Australia.
The worldwide ocean temperature tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest September on record, 0.90 degree F above the 20th century average of 61.1 degrees F. The near-Antarctic southern ocean and the Gulf of Alaska featured notable cooler-than-average temperatures.
Arctic sea ice covered an average 2.1 million square miles in September - the third lowest for any September since records began in 1979. The coverage was 23.8 percent below the 1979-2000 average, and the 13th consecutive September with below-average Arctic sea ice extent.
Antarctic sea ice extent in September was 2.2 percent above the 1979-2000 average. This was the third largest September extent on record, behind 2006 and 2007.
Typhoon Ketsana became 2009’s second-deadliest tropical cyclone so far, claiming nearly 500 lives across the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The storm struck the Philippines on September 26, leaving 80 percent of Manila submerged.
I live on the west coast of Canada. I note that this past summer produced some new record high temperatures for Nanaimo, B.C., the nearest large town from us. Usually, when temperature records are broken, it is in the order of one or two tenths of a degree. This year, the new high jumped by more than a full degree celcius!
And, as this is being written, we are experiencing unusually high rainfall numbers. No doubt this is also an effect of the warming trend. The Pacific storms have hardly had any break at all over the past several weeks.
As an aside to all the references above about the arctic ice cover, I recently had a conversation with Dr. William Weller, a retired professor from the local university. He pointed out that the reduced ice cover has given the arctic winds the ability to pick up much more moisture in their travels southward. Perhaps you will recall the recent increase in ice storms both on the eastern and extreme western sides of North America. While global warming might be the word, it truly is leading to a significant climate change.
Thank you Keith for this post. Yes, global warming is the word, as you well know it is catalyst driving climate change. Living in the Midwest we are know expierencing a season of somewhate cooler temps. I believe the methane coming out of the Tundra is causing this. As the warm equatorial air comes up over Russia, through the Polar region and back down. It is of course to soon to say this will become an etablished pattern. This pattern however will also enhance the winds that bring increased precip to your region.
Of course, bare in mind, I am a complete ameteur at this. Just an observer for the past nine years, who attempts to project from the best avialable science information that I can understand.
Oh, I believe the ice storms you mentioned, will of course increase and add to the deforestation of the heartland here in America. As ice storms seem to be on the increase here as well.