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Across the Earth, 2010 had the Second Hottest Summer on Record

This week, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science released data on global temperatures for June, July and August 2010, the hot summer months in the Northern Hemisphere, where most people on the planet live. As summers go, boy, it was a hot one, and it wasn’t just hot where you live. Over land — where most people on the planet live — global summer temperatures reached their second hottest level in the direct temperature record, which stretches all the way back to 1880. Global temperatures measured over both land and ocean were the fourth hottest on record this summer.

As we do every time we look at NASA’s data, we look at the climate context within which this weather occurs. In order of temperature, the following are the ten hottest June-July-August summer months in the 131 years of NASA’s global temperature measurements over land and sea:

1. 1998
2. 2009
3. 2005
4. 2010
5. 2007
6. 2006
7. 2003
8. 2002
9. 2001
10. 1991

8 of the globe’s ten hottest summers on record have been in the last decade, and all of them have been within the last 20 years.

The following are the ten coldest June-July-August summer months in the 131 years of NASA’s global temperature measurements over land and sea:

1. 1907
2. 1912
3. 1890
4. 1903
5. 1885
6. 1904
7. 1918
8. 1913
9. 1909
10. 1911

Not one of the globe’s ten coldest summers from 1880-2010 happened after 1920. You don’t have to be a crack statistician to see this trend.

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