Last month, University of California-Berkeley professor Richard Muller announced his team’s new analysis of temperature records demonstrated 1.8 degrees (F) of land warming since the 1950s. Consistent with these results, the data from NOAA for October 2011 show much above average land temperatures.
The global land surface temperature was second warmest on record for the month, almost two degrees (F) above average, trailing only 2005.
Ocean temperatures did not rank as high, just 11th warmest on record, likely due to the developing La Nina (note the blues, cold water in the tropical Pacific).
The combined land and ocean global temperature during October was more than a degree above average, 8th warmest on record since 1880. It was the 320th consecutive month of above average global temperatures, dating back to February, 1985.
According to NOAA:
*Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across Alaska, Canada, most of Europe and Russia, and Mongolia.
* Cooler-than-average regions included the southeastern United States, most of southern and western South America, parts of Algeria and Libya, part of Eastern Europe, and far southeast Asia.
Year-to-date, the global average temperature is running .95 F above average, 10th warmest on record. Just a month ago, Andrew Freedman wrote 2011 might fall out of the top ten warmest years due to La Nina, which causes cyclical cooling over substantial portions of the tropical Pacific ocean.
Nevertheless, Arctic sea ice, a key indicator of warming in the Arctic, continues to be near or at historic lows.
NOAA said Arctic sea ice extent was second smallest on record for October, 23.5 percent below average.
In addition, the Arctic sea ice blog reported the 12-month rolling average for Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest level on record and that the global sea ice extent, including Antarctic sea ice, reached its lowest maximum peak on record.