October Global Temperatures
Satellite based analyses of global temperatures for 2011 show last year was the 9th warmest of the 33 year satellite record. 1998 remains the warmest year on record. Details below.
Jan. 4, 2012
Vol. 21, No. 8
For Additional Information:
Dr. John Christy
Dr. Roy Spencer
2011 was the 9th warmest year
in the 33-year satellite record
Global Temperature Report: December 2011
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade
December temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.13 C (about 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.20 C (about 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.06 C (about 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.
Tropics: +0.04 C (about 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.
November temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.12 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.08 C above 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.17 C above 30-year average
Tropics: +0.02 C above 30-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)
Notes on data released Jan. 4, 2012:
2011 was the ninth warmest year (globally averaged) in the 33-year global satellite record despite La Niña Pacific Ocean cooling events at the start and finish of the year, according to John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Globally averaged, Earth’s atmosphere was 0.15 C (0.27 degree Fahrenheit) warmer than the 30-year average in 2011; That was less than half of the warming anomaly seen in 2010.
Average annual global
warmest to coolest
1979 – 2011
Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:
The processed temperature data is available on-line at:
As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.