Good thing we had all that manmade CO2 to keep us warm.
The Associated Press reports,
A strong La Niña lowered the world’s temperature last year to its second-coolest reading of the 2000s, federal scientists announced Thursday.
The nations’s two primary climate data sets — from the National Climatic Data Center and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) — both had the Earth as much warmer than average, but not as warm as recent years have been.
The climate center reported that the globe had its 11th-warmest year on record, while NASA marked the year as the 9th warmest on record.
Climate records go back to 1880.
La Niña is a natural, periodic cooling of tropical Pacific Ocean water that affects weather and climate around the world.
Since 2011 was the second-coolest year of the 2000s, does this mean global warming has slowed?
“Global temperature in 2011 was lower than in 1998,” NASA climate scientist James Hansen admits in the GISS report. However, he adds that nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century, and that 2011 was cooled by a moderately strong La Niña.
“We conclude that the slowdown of warming is likely to prove illusory, with more rapid warming appearing over the next few years,” Hansen writes.
NCDC calculated the globe’s average temperature was 57.9 degrees F, which was 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th century average of 57 degrees.
“There is no long-term cooling trend,” said climate scientist Jake Crouch of the NCDC. “If we look at the long-term trend of temperatures for the globe, we see an increasing trend,” he says. “However, La Niña can temporarily supress global temperatures.”
In fact, it was hotter than every year in the 20th century except 1998. When compared to previous La Niña years, the 2011 global surface temperature was the warmest observed.
It was the 35th consecutive year that the global temperature was above average, according to the data center. The last below-average year was 1976.
Specifically, 2011 was the warmest year on record in Spain and Norway, and the second-warmest on record for the United Kingdom.
NCDC reported the USA’s temperature was the 23rd-warmest on record in 2011. What was remarkable for the USA were the precipitation contrasts: Texas had its driest year on record, while seven states — Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — had their wettest year on record.
The NCDC also upped the number of billion-dollar U.S. weather disasters from 12 to 14, adding Tropical Storm Lee and a severe weather outbreak in the Rockies and Midwest from July to the total.