Southern Hemisphere in 2009 Saw Warmest Year on Record

NASA reported today (15 January 2010) that surface temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere during 2009 were the warmest on record.

Just hours after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its global temperature data for 2009 (see Global Temperatures in 2009 Were Fifth Warmest on Record, Continuing Accelerated Pace of Warming Over Last 3 Decades), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies posted its annual temperature data.  NASA reports that the average surface temperature for the Southern Hemisphere was 0.49oC above the 1951-1980 mean temperature, making it the warmest on record. Now in second place is 2002, with a temperature of 0.44oC above the long-term mean.

While the Northern Hemisphere did not break the temperature record for the year, it was anything but cool.  While much attention has been focused on some areas that experienced below normal temperatures during parts of the year, 2009 ended up being 0.65oC above the mean, making it the 7th warmest year on record for the northern hemisphere.

Globally, NASA data show that 2009 was tied with 2007 as the second warmest year on record.  At 0.57oC above the mean, those years were behind only 2005, which was the warmest year at 0.63oC above the mean.  Using a separate dataset, NOAA estimates that 2009 was tied with 2006 as the fifth warmest on record, at 0.56°C above the 20th century average. 

Regardless of which data are used, the conclusions are the same.  2009 was one of  the warmest years on record globally, the last decade was the warmest on record, and global temperatures are rapidly rising.

Online Resources:

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

Antarctica Losing More than 24 cubic Miles of Ice Annually -- and the Pace is Accelerating.  WWF Climate Blog (13 January 2010)

Breaking: 2009 Hottest Year on Record in Southern Hemisphere and Tied for Second Globally.  Climate Progress, 14 January 2010.

New Hansen analysis and global temperature data counter disinformers who say the planet is cooling.  Climate Science Watch, 16 January 2010.


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