CLIMATE: Global April temperature report

Posted at 6:29 AM, May 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-16 06:09:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The preliminary data for the April 2012 global temperature report is out from the scientists tracking the trend at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. According to their satellite data, the global climate temperature trend in the lower troposphere since Nov. 16, 1978 is +0.13 C per decade.

Their conclusions for April 2012 in the lower troposphere include:
Global composite temp.: +0.30 C (about 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for April. This is the fifth warmest April in the 33-year satellite climate record.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.41 C (about 0.74 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for April.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.18 C (about 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for April.
Tropics: -0.12 C (about 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for April.

Here are some of the highlights from around the globe:

IMAGE: Global Temperature Report, the University of Alabama in Huntsville

March temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.11 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.13 C below 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.09 C below 30-year average
Tropics: -0.11 C below 30-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

Chart: Global Temperature Report, the University of Alabama in Huntsville

The data presented here is, “part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist.” These scientists “use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available. The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a ‘public’ computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.”

Some of you may wonder about the source of funding for this research. The scientists say, “Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.”

You can watch a NASA:Goddard animation of global temperature anomalies from 1884 through 2011 here:

NASA explains, "The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880.The finding sustains a trend that has seen the 21st century experience nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York released an analysis of how temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience higher temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) higher than the mid-20th century baseline."

BLOG BONUS: Click here for the contiguous U.S. temperature summary for 2012 so far, which is the warmest start to a year on record.

According to Dr. John Christy, "Temperatures over the contiguous 48 states averaged 1.49 C (about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms in April, making it the fifth warmest April in the 33-year satellite climate record. That was cooler than the record-setting 2.82 C (almost 5.1 degrees Fahrenheit) anomaly in March.  April 2012 was the fourth warmest April in the temperature record both globally and in the Northern Hemisphere. It was the warmest April in 33 years for the Northern Extra Tropics — everything from 20 degrees North all the way to the North Pole. Average temperatures there for the month were 0.73 C (1.3 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms. The warmest and coolest spots on the globe show up as adjacent spots on the global map: Air over the Norwegian Sea was as much as 3.1 C (5.6 F) cooler than seasonal norms, while a large region of warmer than normal air over Europe peaked over Kazakhstan with temperatures as much as 5.92 C (10.66 F) warmer than seasonal norms."

Click here for more on the research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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