The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NOAA Global Climate Analysis For July: Fifth Warmest On Record

While much of central North America has been cooler than average this summer, NOAA keeps track of the world climate as a whole and guess what - cool weather in Minnesota is not indicative of global climate. Here are some of the highlights in case anyone claims that the global climate has stopped warming:

Global Highlights

  • The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2009 was the fifth warmest on record, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F).
  • July 2009 was the 33rd consecutive July with an average global land and ocean surface temperature above the 20th century average. The last July with global temperatures below the 20th century average occurred in 1976.
  • The global ocean surface temperature for July 2009 was the warmest on record, 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F). This broke the previous July record set in 1998. The July ocean surface temperature departure from the long-term average equals June 2009 value, which was also a record.
  • The global land surface temperature for July 2009 was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 14.3°C (57.8°F), and tied with 2003 as the ninth-warmest July on record.
  • For the year to date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.3°C (57.9°F) tied with 2004 for the sixth-warmest January-through-July period on record.
  • El Niño persisted across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during July 2009. Related sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies increased for the sixth consecutive month in this ENSO domain, where July SSTs were more than 0.5°C (0.9°F) above average. If El Niño conditions continue to mature, as now projected by NOAA, global temperatures are likely to exceed previous record highs.

The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

One of the interesting facts that will affect us here in northern Minnesota this winter is the return of El Nino conditions in the Pacific after two consecutive winters in a La Nina state. This should be good news for our heating bills but can also lead to erratic swings in temperatures bringing the possibility of mid-winter thaws and ice storms.

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