On the climate change front, according to the NOAA (National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration), 2010 tied with 2005 for the warmest year on record, of global surface temperatures. Records began in 1880. What’s more, 2010 was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average.
In addition, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network, 2010 was also the wettest year on record, in terms of global average precipitation. As with any year, precipitation patterns were highly variable from region to region.
Deke Arndt from the NOAA is reported as saying:
Precipitation is highly variable from place to place, so there were lots of dry areas, lots of wet areas. But when we average those out, it was also the wettest year on record.
Arctic Ice Melt
Arctic sea ice had a record long growing season in 2010, with the annual maximum happening at the latest date, March 31, since records began in 1979. Despite the shorter than normal melting season, the Arctic still reached its third smallest annual ice minimum on record, behind 2007 and 2008.
A negative Arctic Oscillation in January and February of 2010 helped to usher in very cold Arctic air to much of the Northern Hemisphere. Record cold and major snowstorms with heavy accumulations of snow occurred across eastern North America, Europe and Asia. The February index reached the largest negative anomaly since records began in 1950.
United States Climate
The story is a little different to the global averages in the United States. 2010 was the 14th consecutive year with annual temperature above the long-term average.
It was the 23rd warmest year on record in the United States and the 36th wettest year on record. These fall into the upper third of U.S. climate history, dating back to 1895. Precipitation across the United States was 1.02 inches (2.59 cm) above the long-term average. A persistent storm track brought prolific rain to the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Wisconsin had its wettest summer on record, and many other surrounding states had much above normal precipitation.
So you see, the story of global warming is still with us, despite the heavy winter snow in some regions.
Image CC licensed by Mojumbo22