2009 Warmest Year on Record in Southern Hemisphere

Global land-ocean mean surface temperature Data just released from NASA indicates that 2009 was the hottest year on record in the Southern Hemisphere, and globally comes in for a “three way tie” as the second-warmest year in the instrumental record (with 2007 and 1998), as Reto Ruedo, co-author of the NASA report, told Joe Romm of Climate Progress last week.

According to surface temperature analysis from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the southern hemisphere was 0.88 degree Fahrenheit (0.49 Celsius) warmer in 2009 than for the baseline period (known as the “climatology” period) of 1951-1980. Global mean temperatures in 2009 were 1 degree F (0.57 C) warmer for the same period.

Despite persistent assertions that 1998 is the warmest year on record with “global cooling” occurring since then, 2005 holds the current top spot as warmest year on record according to GISS analysis. Further, the first decade of the 21st century was warmer the the 1990’s and 0.54 degree C warmer than the 20th century average, according to recent research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) .

Solar minimum and trailing indicator of climate

Oceans warm more slowly and with less variability than on land, making the southern hemisphere – which is mostly water – a “trailing indicator” of climate change, says Ruedo. Globally, 2009 resulted in some of the warmest ocean surface temperatures on record. We are also now at the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century, according to NASA.

All indictions are that, in spite of the persistent reoccurrence of winter (which seems to confuse some folks), the trend continues toward warming, with anthropogenic forcings as the apparent primary cause.

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. NASA is cooking the data, What is the carbon footprint of launching shuttle missions ? Lead by example, sell your cars, ride a bike. Don’t heat your house, wear more clothing. Give up your computer, cellphone, TV, electricity and municipal services. These are all a waste of energy, just to make your life a little easier. Provide for yourself by going retro, like 1910 retro. Lead by example, Global warming is a socialist tax scheme, from the ministry of propaganda. Repeat a lie often enough, and the masses will believe it as truth.

    • Thanks for the focused, well articulated comment Tim. I especially like the “global warming is a socialists scheme.” Did you think that up all by yourself?

      Here’s the deal Tim, if you can manage to wrap your head around it (which I kinda doubt). NASA does more than launch the Shuttle. But never mind that. I don’t want to push your brain too much.

      This particular post is mostly about temperature data for the Southern hemisphere. If you don’t want to believe it, well, I really couldn’t care less.

      Nobody is talking about “giving up” the modern conveniences of life in this post now are they?

      Nobody is talking about any political agenda in this post – in particular a “socialist” one now are they?

      What are you so damned afraid of? The truth?

      And if it is the truth that NASA is “cooking the data” then I’d love to see you cite your source of that information. You might want to actually read the entire post and follow the links if you’re really interested in finding out how NASA does their temperature analysis, and how it differs from other research institutions. Then you might actually be in a position to comment intelligently on it. Ah, but you aren’t interested in that. You want to parrot others about some imagined Socialist agenda. Be my guest. Repeat the lie long enough… well, I don’t suppose that applies to you, eh?
      Try harder next time.

  2. Are there any moderates in your organization? Socalist organizations are mostly filled by superior thinking radicals, aren’t they? Spread the Word!

    • Yeah, okay Tim – stick with this Socialist thing.

      Which “organization” are you talking about? There is really some monolithic organization that you imagine in your head? It’s pretty hilarious that you mention the word “moderate.”

      I say the following based only on the evidence you have provided – you’re either seriously deluded, completely gripped with fear from some imagined “socialist boogey man” (turn of Glenn Beck), or insane. Not sure which of those options is best.

      If you’d have the courage, brains, or balls to come here and ask me a question or challenge anything said in this blog in a human and decent way, even if you are a “skeptic” (which I don’t believe you are – the word “skeptic” implies thought), I’d come back with a completely different tone. But as long as you make these baseless claims on people and issues you know nothing about, then you get what you deserve.

      Like I said, try harder next time.

      PS – If Climate Depot is your only answer to any of this, fine. You’ve obviously studied the issue thoroughly and know all there is to know – and have no agenda. You’re the one that came in here sounding like an a-hole. What in hell do you expect? You know nothing about me, what I do, and what I believe – or how I live my life. What the hell do you know about it? How do you get off making such baseless assumptions about people. Warm and fuzzy? You can go to hell, my friend. You know nothing.

  3. Tommy, your so smart, Shall I worship you and your ideas of cap and trade taxes? Or maybe you just need a flat carbon tax. It all comes down to taxing the people! Gore worshippers like yourself, proclaim themselves the keepers of knowledge. Go see The wizard of OZ Tommy, ask him for what the straw man got. What is the Carbon footprint of one shuttle launch? Please Keeper of higher thought and knowledge, let me know this one bit of information And please be truthful Tommy, it’s about the taxes!

    • Mr. McKinney,

      Okay, i think I have my answer. You’re insane. And you’re done here.

      BTW – carbon footprint of a Shuttle Launch (because that proves that temperature data for the Southern Hemisphere is cooked): really, really big, I’d imagine. You can go look it up.

      But as I said. I’ve played with this enough and you are done. (Regarding your concern over taxes, you could try contacting your Congressperson, you could learn about revenue neutral taxing schemes, you could do a whole host of things – including intelligently challenging the science and politics of climate change – but you apparently aren’t able to do it here.)

      Try harder next time, Mr. McKinney – just not here. You’ve had your chance.

      Did I mention you sound insane?

  4. Tommy have you located the wizzard yet ? Why is my reply not posted? Stick and stones will break my bones, but Tommys words cannot hurt me!

    Ed note: OMG!

    • Thanks for the comment, but I have to ask – do you think that natural climate cycles is something that is either a) denied by anyone (show me one such denial in this or any other source) B) not clearly understood by anyone studying the issue even at the most cursory level or b) that there have been any such cycles driving temperatures “much higher than anything we are experiencing today” within the timeframe of human civilization?

  5. Question: on a strictly scientific level; (and I do think science is the only thing involved) how do we know exactly how cold or hot the earth was a few thousand years ago? Hasn’t humans recorded time, weather, geneology, and everything for that matter changed? Furthurmore, hasn’t our view, method of recording these things, and accuracy changed as well?

    If they don’t know what the exact temperature was 1000 years ago, how can they spot a global trend today?

    And if we (believers and skeptics) base our arguments on tenths of a degree, how can say this isn’t just a normal 100 -200 year trend on cooling and

    for the record, I am not a skeptic / nor believer, I am undecided and completly unbiased. I have heard good arguments from both sides.

    If global warming was THAT OBVIOUS, why do we have skeptics in high positions with serious resumes in climate and climate archeology.

    Thank you

    • Taylor, thanks for your comment.

      For a thorough explanation of determining past climate beyond the human record check out this site:

      There is certainly an element of natural trending in climate over the past one or two hundred years, but the concern is, as you probably already know, that human activity has overwhelmed natural tendencies since industrialization and burning of fossil fuels (as well as deforestation and massive changes in land use).

      For folks like you and I I think it comes down to risk assessment. A very good take on this is in a series of YouTube videos that I highly recommend you watch:

      These are rather short answers, and I’m happy to continue this discussion. The links above will hopefully help answer your questions.

      It is fine to be skeptical, and I think your questions reflect skepticism. I think many people, especially with this issue, mistake skepticism, or an honest questioning, with something else. For a lack of a better phrase we’ll call it denialism. But be that as it may, I am curious who exactly you have in mind when you refer to people in “high places with serious resumes in climate archeology?”


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