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Sanity check: 2008 & 2009 Were The Coolest Years Since 1998 in the USA

Watts Up With That?
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

While the press is hyperventilating over NASA GISS recent announcement of the “Hottest Decade Ever [1]“, it pays to keep in mind what happened the last two years of the past decade.

According to NCDC, 2009 temperatures in the US (53.13F) were the 33rd warmest and very close to the long term mean of 52.86F.


Generated from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html [3]

Since 1998, according to NCDC’s own figures,  temperatures in the US have been dropping at a rate of more than 10 degrees F per century.


Generated from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html [3]

For 2009, all regions of the US were normal or below normal except for the southwest and Florida.


NCDC Statewide Rankings [6]

Temperatures in Alaska were also slightly below the long term mean.  Three of the last four years have seen below normal temperatures in Alaska.



A few fond memories from 2009 :

Americans suffer record cold as temperatures plunge to -40   16th January 2009 [9]

Jul 28, 2009   Chicago Sees Coldest July In 67 Years [10]

Aug 31, 2009   August Ends With Near-Record Cold [11]

Oct 14, 2009   October Cold Snap Sets 82-Year Record [12]

And my personal favorite [13]:

From: Kevin Trenberth <trenbert@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
To: Michael Mann <mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Cc: Stephen H Schneider <shs@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Myles Allen <allen@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, peter stott <peter.stott@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, “Philip D. Jones” <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Benjamin Santer <santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Tom Wigley <wigley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Thomas R Karl <Thomas.R.Karl@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Gavin Schmidt <gschmidt@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, James Hansen <jhansen@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Michael Oppenheimer <omichael@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

Hi all
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in
Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We
had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it
smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a
record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies
baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing
Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global
energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27,
doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained
from the author.)
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a
travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008
shows there should be even