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Five-Year Average Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2010

Groups of scientists from several major institutions - NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom - tally data collected by temperature monitoring stations spread around the world and make an announcement about whether the previous year was a comparatively warm or cool year. This analysis concerns only temperature anomalies, not absolute temperature. Temperature anomalies are computed relative to the base period 1951-1980. The reason to work with anomalies, rather than absolute temperature is that absolute temperature varies markedly in short distances, while monthly or annual temperature anomalies are representative of a much larger region. Indeed, we have shown (Hansen and Lebedeff, 1987) that temperature anomalies are strongly correlated out to distances of the order of 1000 km. For more information about this dataset, see http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp

NASA's announcement this year - that 2010 ties 2005 as the warmest year in the 131-year instrumental record - made headlines. But, how much does the ranking of a single year matter?

Not all that much, emphasizes James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. In the GISS analysis, for example, 2010 differed from 2005 by less than 0.01°C (0.018°F), a difference so small that the temperatures of these two years are indistinguishable, given the uncertainty of the calculation.

Meanwhile, the third warmest year - 2009 - is so close to 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007, with the maximum difference between the years being a mere 0.03°C, that all six years are virtually tied.

Even for a near record-breaking year like 2010 the broader context is more important than a single year. "Certainly, it is interesting that 2010 was so warm despite the presence of a La Niña and a remarkably inactive sun, two factors that have a cooling influence on the planet, but far more important than any particular year's ranking are the decadal trends," Hansen said.

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This color-coded map displays a progression of changing global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2010. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2006 to 2010.    This color-coded map displays a progression of changing global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2010. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2006 to 2010.
Duration: 26.0 seconds
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  320x180 (30 fps) X-FLV       852 KB
  3840x2160 TIFF         6 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   4 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (NoDates)
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   24 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames (NoDates)
  320x180     PNG           71 KB
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This visualization shows the same data as above with the corresponding date overlay applied.    This visualization shows the same data as above with the corresponding date overlay applied.
Duration: 26.0 seconds
Available formats:
  320x180 (30 fps) X-FLV       849 KB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   4 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames (WithDateOverlay)
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   25 MB
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Temperature difference colorbar.
   Temperature difference colorbar.

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  320 x 90           PNG         7 KB


This frame set and this movie of the five-year global temperature anomalies from 1880 through 2010 are made to be displayed on the Science on a Sphere display.    This frame set and this movie of the five-year global temperature anomalies from 1880 through 2010 are made to be displayed on the Science on a Sphere display.
Duration: 52.0 seconds
Available formats:
  320x160     X-FLV       1 MB
  2048x1024 Frames
  2048x1024 MPEG-4   51 MB
  2048x1024 JPEG         331 KB
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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1880 to 1884.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1880 to 1884.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1890 to 1894.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1890 to 1894.



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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1900 to 1904.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1900 to 1904.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1910 to 1914.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1910 to 1914.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1920 to 1924.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1920 to 1924.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1930 to 1934.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1930 to 1934.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1940 to 1944.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1940 to 1944.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1950 to 1954.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1950 to 1954.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1960 to 1964.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1960 to 1964.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1970 to 1974.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1970 to 1974.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1980 to 1984.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1980 to 1984.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1990 to 1994.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 1990 to 1994.

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Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 2000 to 2004.    Global Temperature Anomalies averaged from 2000 to 2004.

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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3817
Animation Number:3817
Completed:2011-01-14
Animator:Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC) (Lead)
Producer:Brooke Harris (UMBC)
Scientists:James Hansen Ph.D. (NASA/GSFC GISS)
 Reto A. Ruedy Ph.D. (SIGMA Space Partners, LLC.)
 Kwok-Wai Ken Lo Ph.D. (SIGMA Space Partners, LLC.)
 Makiko Sato Ph.D. (Columbia University, Center for Climate Systems Research)
 Robert B Schmunk Ph.D. (SIGMA Space Partners, LLC.)
Project Support:Robert B Schmunk Ph.D. (SIGMA Space Partners, LLC.)
Writer:Adam P Voiland (Wyle Information Systems)
Platform/Sensor/Data Set:GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)/GISTEMP
Series:Global Temperature Anomalies
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Data provided by Robert B. Schmunk (NASA/GSFC GISS)
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Climate
SVS >> Global Warming
SVS >> HDTV
DLESE >> Physical oceanography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Extinction
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators >> Teleconnections >> El Nino Southern Oscillation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Coastal Processes >> Sea Level Rise
SVS >> Model Data
SVS >> iPod
SVS >> Science On a Sphere
DEPC Metadata is available here.
Science paper:

*Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004, doi:10.1029/2010RG000345.

Model documentation, including the ModelE specification and results from three standard configurations, is given in the following journal article:

* Schmidt, G.A., R. Ruedy, J.E. Hansen, I. Aleinov, N. Bell, M. Bauer, S. Bauer, B. Cairns, V. Canuto, Y. Cheng, A. Del Genio, G. Faluvegi, A.D. Friend, T.M. Hall, Y. Hu, M. Kelley, N.Y. Kiang, D. Koch, A.A. Lacis, J. Lerner, K.K. Lo, R.L. Miller, L. Nazarenko, V. Oinas, Ja. Perlwitz, Ju. Perlwitz, D. Rind, A. Romanou, G.L. Russell, Mki. Sato, D.T. Shindell, P.H. Stone, S. Sun, N. Tausnev, D. Thresher, and M.-S. Yao 2006. Present day atmospheric simulations using GISS ModelE: Comparison to in-situ, satellite and reanalysis data. J. Climate 19, 153-192.

 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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