Briefs: Hot 2009

According to data published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in December 2009, the year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850. The global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2009 (January-October) is currently estimated at 0.44°C ± 0.11°C above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00°C. The current ranking of 2009 places it as the fifth-warmest year. The decade spanning 2000-2009 was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990-1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980-1989). The current assessment concerning 2009 will be updated early 2010. In 2009, above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the world. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. 2009 is likely to be the warmest year on record in large parts of southern Asia and central Africa.