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2013 Ranks Among 10 Warmest Years On Record

Published on 23 January 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Charlene Porter


Washington, D.C.

Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem's Old City In January 2013
Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem's Old City In January 2013

A scientific summary of 2013 weather data from around the world finds that the year ranked among the 10 hottest on record. The assessment comes from the State of the Climate — Annual 2013 report compiled by the National Climatic Data Center.

The center is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released a summary of the report on January 22.

The global analysis finds that 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62 degrees Celsius above the average for the 20th century.

Including the findings for 2013, nine out of 10 of the warmest years in the record maintained by U.S. scientific agencies since 1880 have occurred in the 21st century. Further, 2013 marks the 37th consecutive year that the yearly global temperature was above average, according to the Data Center analysis.

Most areas of the world experienced above-average temperatures last year. Central Asia, western Ethiopia, eastern Tanzania and southern and western Australia reported record warm temperatures over land. The highest temperatures ever were also documented in the southwestern Pacific, parts of the central Pacific and an area of the Indian Ocean.

Nowhere on Earth in 2013 was record cold detected, according to the analysis.

Planetary weather patterns created cooler-than-average spring temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of the United States, Russia, Europe and Japan. France, for example, had its coolest spring since 1986 and the Netherlands recorded its coolest spring in more than 40 years.

Farther south in Europe, warmer-than-average spring conditions prevailed, as reported from Croatia, Montenegro and Hungary, for example.

The Arctic was considerably warmer than average, as was much of central and northern Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and much of China. The western Greenland coast experienced its all-time warmest March, and Norway and Sweden each recorded one of their five warmest Mays in more than a century.

Mexico recorded warmest-ever temperatures during July and August. Argentina came close, reporting its second-warmest year since it began national record-keeping in 1961.

In East Africa, Kenya also reported above-average high temperatures during several months of 2013. In West Africa, Ghana reached an all-time record high of 43 degrees C on March 6 in Navrongo.

Some parts of Asia experienced a warmer-than-average summer. Japan recorded its hottest summer on record, and on August 12, recorded the highest temperature ever observed in the nation, 41 degrees C at Shimanto. Southern China sweltered in a persistent heat wave through most of July and August.

Australia also marked some all-time records in 2013, according to the global analysis. January was reportedly the hottest month ever observed, and extreme warmth from the previous December through February sizzled the season to become the hottest Australian summer ever recorded.

Annual precipitation fell at a near-average level globally, but that finding must be weighed against record floods and droughts occurring in some locations.

Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, experienced major flooding in the aftermath of tropical low-pressure systems, with some record high-water marks surpassed.

Neither did they think of it as an average year in Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, where rare snow fell in 2013. Jerusalem recorded a 20-centimeter snowfall, its deepest in more than 20 years.

The year is remembered as one of drought in northeastern Brazil, with the largest rainfall deficit since 1979. Northern and eastern New Zealand also recall 2013 as a drought year, about the driest in 70 years.



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Posted 2014-01-23 13:19:00