2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year on record, according to separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Global surface temperatures in 2010 were 1.34°F (0.74°C) warmer than the average global surface temperature from 1951 to 1980 and 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average.
“If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long,” said James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), in a statement.
The global land surface temperatures for 2010 tied for the second warmest on record, while global ocean surface temperatures for 2010 tied with 2005 as the third warmest on record, according to the NOAA.
Global surface temperature anomalies for 2010. (Credit: NOAA)
The estimates are based on weather data from “more than 1000 meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic research station measurements,” according to GISS, which notes the temperature record in 2010 is consistent with independent analysis from the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom.
“The record temperature in 2010 is particularly noteworthy, because the last half of the year was marked by a transition to strong La Niña conditions, which bring cool sea surface temperatures to the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean,” stated a release from GISS.
GISS says the warmest years since recording-keeping began in 1880 are 2005 and 2010 (tied), followed by 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
2010 was also the wettest year on record in terms of precipitation, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network.
Temperatures in the United States were more moderate, but were still above the long-term average. Temperatures were most above normal in the upper Midwest and Northeast. Temperatures were below normal in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.