The numbers are in, and 2011 was another one for the record books. A great source of weather and climate information is the blog of Dr. Jeff Masters at Wunderground.com.
The year 2011 tied with 1997 as the 11th warmest year since records began in 1880, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center said last week. NASA rated 2011 as the 9th warmest on record. Land temperatures were the 8th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures, the 11th warmest. For the Arctic, which has warmed about twice as much as the rest of the planet, 2011 was the warmest year on record (between 64°N and 90°N latitude.) The year 2011 was also the 2nd wettest year over land on record, as evidenced by some of the unprecedented flooding Earth witnessed. The wettest year over land was the previous year, 2010.
Masters also explains how much of these temperature changes are due to natural causes like the El Nino and La Nina events. More on that in a later post.