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[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

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2010 tied with 2005 for warmest year on record

2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year since records began in 1880.

The year 2010 was tied with 2005 as Earth’s warmest year in history, according to separate calculations performed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Temperatures during 2010 were 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average. Reliable global temperature records go back to 1880. NOAA reported that the Northern Hemisphere had its warmest year on record in 2010, the Southern Hemisphere its 6th warmest, land areas their 2nd warmest, and the oceans their 3rd warmest.

Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2010. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

Earth’s warmest temperatures in 2010, relative to average, occurred in western Greenland and eastern Canada, where record-duration sea ice loss contributed to temperatures that were 9°F (5°C) above average for the year (Figure 1.) The coolest temperatures, relative to average, were in central Siberia, 5.4°F (3°C) below average.

Earth’s ten hottest years have all come since 1998, and the decade of the 2000s was by far the warmest decade in the historical record.

Figure 3. Global departure of temperature from average for 1880-2010, as computed by NASA.

Source: Jeff Masters at the Weather Underground blog.

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