NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies posted these fascinating figures last week (click for PDF).  Yes, the one place in the world where it warmed the least this year is, of course, the good old (continental) U.S. of A.

I noted last week that NASA reports hottest June to October on record*, but the figure and monthly data (here) reveal several other interesting things:

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  1. This year is currently on track to be the 5th warmest year on record, but, in fact, if the monthly temperature anomaly (compared to the 1951 to 1980 average) stays near where it has been for the last two months, then 2009 will surpass 2007 as the second hottest year on record.
  2. If November’s anomaly is the same as the anomaly for the last two months, then November will tie for the hottest November in the temperature record.
  3. If the average temperature anomaly during 2010 is only as high as it’s been from June to October of this year, then 2010 will roughly tie for the hottest year on record.

We’ll know about the first two above within a few weeks.

What makes recent record temps especially impressive is that we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” according to NASA.  It’s just hard to stop the march of anthropogenic global warming, well, other than by reducing GHG emissions, that is.

Back in January, NASA had predicted:  “Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.”

Then, back in early June NOAA put out “El Niño Watch,” which I noted meant that “record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record.”

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Then, a few weeks ago, the key Nino 3.4 region of the Pacific began to really heat up, as had been predicted (see “El Niño-driven sea surface temperatures still soaring. Hottest decade poised to get even hotter“).

Finally, NOAA’s latest weekly update on the El Niño/Southern oscillation, “ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions“ shows that the Nino 3.4 region has stayed quite warm for 3 weeks running, leading NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center to again assert “Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.”  And NOAA’s own CFS (Climate Forecast System) ensemble mean forecast issued on Sunday “predicts El Niño will last at least through Northern hemisphere spring 2010.”

So NASA’s January prediction is looking better and better.

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