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2010 and 2005: Warmest Years

34 consecutive years of above-average temperatures

Record heat, cold winter

2001-2010, the hottest period

dijous, 20 de gener de 2011
Together with 2005, 2010 was the hottest year since weather records began in 1880.

This was established last week in a study published by NASA, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. More specifically, the study revealed that the Earth's overall surface temperature had increased last year by 0.63 °C, compared with the average temperature between 1951 and 1980. This is an almost negligible increase on 2005's figure of 0.62 °C.

James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute, the entity that conducted the study, warned that, considering the continuing rise in greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming rising trend, this record temperature would soon be beaten.

Furthermore, the study highlighted that this record temperature came in a year that was marked by the presence of the La Niña phenomenon, linked to the cooling of the equatorial Pacific waters. Without La Niña, the temperature would have been even higher.

Last week, another North American study, this time by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), came to the same conclusion as NASA's study: that 2010 drew with 2005 as the hottest year on record.

34 consecutive years of above-average temperatures

+ 2010 was the 34th consecutive year with a temperature above the 20th century average.
Scientists at NOAA found a very significant figure: 2010 was the 34th consecutive year with a temperature above the 20th century average. They also highlighted the fact that the size of the Arctic ice cap had reached its third all time low since 1979, and that Greenland had record high temperatures.

Record heat, cold winter

+ In northern Europe, this winter has been particularly severe.
In Europe, the fact that 2010 was so hot is something that may come as a surprise, especially among people in the north of the continent, where this winter has been particularly severe (remember the air traffic chaos caused by the snow last December). However, the fact is that in Europe, seven of the past ten winters have seen temperatures rise above the 1951-1980 average.

2001-2010, the hottest period

+ 2010 was part of the warmest decade on record. Credit: NASA GISS.
According to the NASA study, the hottest years after 2010 and 2005 were practically tied: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. This data is backed up by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), according to whom the period of 2001-2010 was the hottest decade, with an increase of 0.46 °C with respect to the average temperature between 1961 and 1990.



  • In this year of record high temperatures, Great Britain has had its coldest December since 1910, according to data from British weather and climate change service, the Met Office.
  • As well as being the hottest, 2010 was also the most humid year in terms of average global precipitation.


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Imatges del canvi climàtic.
Els efectes el canvi climàtic sobre la temperatura: àudio.
Informe del 2010 sobre l'Àrtida: vídeo.
Efecte hivernacle: interactiu.
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