New temperature record for the Arctic in 2011

NOTE: Reposted from Neven's blog post of the same name, via ClimateProgress from the WWF Climate Blog, this piece by Nick Sundt:  

Last week NASA released data showing that last year temperatures in the Arctic rose beyond the record established in 2010 -- setting a new record for 2011. News of the record Arctic temperatures follows a series of alarming developments related to the Arctic in recent months.

Click to enlarge

The surface temperature anomaly for the region extending from 64°N to 90°N, from 1880 through 2011, in degrees Celsius above or below the temperature during the 1951-1980 base period.  The figures shows that temperatures have risen substantially since 1880 and that the rate of increase has been especially rapid since the late 1970s. Source: data from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies, Zonal annual means (Click for larger graphic).

According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the annual mean surface temperature (land and air) for the region north of 64°N (the Arctic Circle is at 66° 33'N) in 2011 was 2.28°C above that which characterized the 1951-1980 period.  Temperatures in the region have been rising rapidly since the late 1970s and have not dropped below the long term mean since 1992 -- nearly 20 years. This year's annual mean temperature broke the record that was just set in 2010, when the temperature was 2.11°C above 1951-1980 levels.

Continue reading here...


And as a bonus a cool video from NASA showing how that fresh water from Russian rivers got to the Beaufort Sea (a news item that popped up at several places last week):


NOTE: Researchers at Skeptical Science have audited the GISS data used to make the WWF graphic originally appearing in the source article for this blog post. The WWF graphic was found to be faithful to the source data and easily reproducible. 

Posted by Neven on Friday, 27 January, 2012

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