August 2010: Third Warmest on Record!

The Northern Hemisphere had warmest August on record

(Image Credit: NOAA)

NOAA, National Climatic Data Center — Warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across much of the world’s land surface during August 2010, with the warmest anomalies observed across the eastern half of the contiguous United States, eastern Canada, much of Europe, northwestern Africa, and parts of Asia.

However, cooler-than-average temperatures were present across southern South America, central Russia, and most of Australia.

When averaging the global land surface temperatures, the worldwide land surface temperature for August 2010 ranked as the second warmest on record, behind 1998. August 2010 temperature was 0.90 ??C (1.62 ??F) above the 20th century average of 13.8 ??C (56.9 ??F).

Across the oceans, warmer-than-average conditions were present across the Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific oceans, with cooler-than-average conditions present across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and along the North American and South American Pacific coast.

The cooler-than-average conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean were associated with La Ni??a, characterized by unusually cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Ni??a strengthened during August 2010 as the temperatures continued to drop to at least 1 ??C (1.8 ??F) below average. La Ni??a is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (Southern Hemisphere summer), according to CPC.

Overall, the worldwide ocean surface temperature tied with 1997 as the sixth warmest August on record, with an anomaly of 0.50 ??C (0.90 ??F) above the 20th century average of 16.4 ??C (61.4 ??F).

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As a whole, the global land and ocean temperature during August 2010 was 0.60 ??C (1.08 ??F) above the 20th century average of 15.6 ??C (60.1 ??F), resulting in the third warmest August since records began in 1880, behind 1998 (warmest) and 2009 (second warmest).

The Northern Hemisphere as a whole experienced its warmest August on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2003. Separately, the Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature was the warmest on record, while the ocean temperature was the fourth warmest on record.

Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere as a whole experienced its eleventh warmest August on record. Separately, the Southern Hemisphere land surface temperature tied with 1985 as the 22nd warmest August on record, while the ocean surface temperature ranked as the ninth warmest since records began in 1880.

Year-to-date (January???August)

The January-August 2010 Blended Land and Ocean Surface Temperature Anomalies in degree Celsius January???August 2010 map of temperature anomalies shows above-average temperatures over most of the globe’s surface area.

The warmest surface temperature anomalies for the year-to-date period occurred over Canada, the northern U.S., southern Greenland, Africa, southwest Asia, and the tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Cool temperature anomalies were present across central Asia, non-equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean, and the southern oceans.

The global land and ocean surface combined temperature for January???August 2010 tied with 1998 as the warmest such period on record with temperatures 0.67 ??C (1.21 ??F) above the 20th century average.

Global ocean surface temperatures were the second warmest January???August on record, behind 1998, with temperatures 0.53 ??C (0.95 ??F) above the 20th century average. The average global land surface temperature for the period was 1.04 ??C (1.87 ??F) above the 20th century reference period and ranked as the warmest January???August on record.