Well its official. 2010 was the hottest calendar year on record for the last 115 years that we have good scientific data. All of the 10 hottest years have happened since 1998. Statistically for this to be the case by chance is 1 in 7.5×10^13. In other words … no chance.
Here is the data from the US Natonal Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’s (NOAA) website.
And here is their commentary on the data –
- For 2010, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). 1998 is the third warmest year-to-date on record, at 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average.
- The 2010 Northern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest year on record, at 0.73°C (1.31°F) above the 20th century average. The 2010 Southern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the sixth warmest year on record, at 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average.
- The global land surface temperature for 2010 tied with 2005 as the second warmest on record, at 0.96°C (1.73°F) above the 20th century average. The warmest such period on record occurred in 2007, at 0.99°C (1.78°F) above the 20th century average.
- The global ocean surface temperature for 2010 tied with 2005 as the third warmest on record, at 0.49°C (0.88°F) above the 20th century average.
- In 2010 there was a dramatic shift in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, which influences temperature and precipitation patterns around the world. A moderate-to-strong El Niño at the beginning of the year transitioned to La Niña conditions by July. At the end of November, La Niña was moderate-to-strong.
(Again – the data above is from NOAA website)
So in case you don’t know, the title of this column comes from the story about the frog in a pot of water who is swimming around comfortably but the pot is over a fire and slowly the frog gets cooked. The frog is unaware of the impending doom because as the temperature rises he never feels the change, he just dies. If you toss a frog into boiling water he will jump out because he can see the immediate need, but if you put the frog into normal water and heat it slowly he just cooks and does not try to escape.
How many more years will we have to have like this one before we realize that climate change will be the defining crisis for mankind for the next 100+ years and it will occupy all of our our global intellectual and economic resources not to lose the fight?
Or will we just slowly cook ourselves and our planet?