Arctic Oscillation Left Its Mark on N. Hemisphere 2010 Temps

August 9, 2011


This movie shows maps of monthly temperature anomalies (differences from normal) from January through December 2010 for the Northern Hemisphere. Places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees Celsius warmer than average (1971-2000) are red, while places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees cooler than average are blue. Locations where temperatures were near the long-term average are white.

The pattern of alternating warm and cool temperature anomalies around the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes at the beginning and end of the year is a classic sign of the negative phase of a natural climate pattern known as the Arctic Oscillation. The pattern has the strongest influence on temperatures in the winter.



Climate Patterns & 2010 Temperatures: Near-record Warmth, Strong Natural Variability

State of the Climate in 2010.

NOAA visualization by Ned Gardiner, based on Global Historical Climatology Network data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.