Saturday, 6 February 2010

A cold winter in a warming climate

There’s no doubt that the present winter in the Benelux countries is a pretty cold one with much more snow than usual. I did make lots of people wondering about global warming.

Those people will might find it surprising, but January 2010 was THE warmest January month in the records, as the satellite data from UAH show.

Do also notice that this record is reached while at present we only have a moderate El Nino (compared to the “super El Nino” in 1998) and solar activity for the moment is very low.

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Jan_10This probably will make many people wonder how winter can be so cold while data say earth is warm. While I’m pretty sure some people will yell ‘fraud’ in fact it’s not that difficult to understand : the fact it is cold in warm place does not mean it’s cold everywhere.

UAH’s Roy Spencer writes :

The global-average lower troposphere temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010. This is the warmest January in the 32-year satellite-based data record.

The tropics and Northern and Southern Hemispheres were all well above normal, especially the tropics where El Nino conditions persist. Note the global-average warmth is approaching the warmth reached during the 1997-98 El Nino, which peaked in April of 1998.

Indeed in many places on earth it has been much warmer than average as the image below clearly shows


The cold winter in Europe and parts of the US is nothing more than a local phenomena and isn’t representative for the globe. The difference between weather and climate.

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