Title State of the climate in 2008
Author Peterson, T.C.; Baringer, M.O.
Source Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90(8 Suppl.), p.S1- S196, . Publisher: American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA, United States. ISSN: 0003-0007
Publication Date Aug. 2009
Notes In English Ant. Acc. No: 90994. GeoRef Acc. No: 308149
Index Terms precipitation (meteorology); climate; global change; global warming; greenhouse effect; ice; ice cover; models; storms; temperature; Antarctica; Arctic region; Southern Ocean; atmospheric precipitation; carbon dioxide; El Nino Southern Oscillation; global; natural hazards; sea ice
Abstract The global mean temperature in 2008 was slightly cooler than that in 2007; however, it still ranks within the 10 warmest years on record. Annual mean temperatures were generally well above average in South America, northern and southern Africa, Iceland, Europe, Russia, South Asia, and Australia. In contrast, an exceptional cold outbreak occurred during January across Eurasia and over southern European Russia and southern western Siberia. There has been a general increase in land-surface temperatures and in permafrost temperatures during the last several decades throughout the Arctic region, including increases of 1 to 2C in the last 30 to 35 years in Russia. Record setting warm summer (JJA) air temperatures were observed throughout Greenland. The year 2008 was also characterized by heavy precipitation in a number of regions of northern South America, Africa, and South Asia. In contrast, a prolonged and intense drought occurred during most of 2008 in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil, causing severe impacts to agriculture and affecting many communities. The year began with a strong La Nina episode that ended in June. Eastward surface current anomalies in the tropical Pacific Ocean in early 2008 played a major role in adjusting the basin from strong La Nina conditions to ENSO-neutral conditions by July-August, followed by a return to La Nina conditions late in December. The La Nina conditions resulted in far-reaching anomalies such as a cooling in the central tropical Pacific, Arctic Ocean, and the regions extending from the Gulf of Alaska to the west coast of North America; changes in the sea surface salinity and heat content anomalies in the tropics; and total column water vapor, cloud cover, tropospheric temperature, and precipitation patterns typical of a La Nina. Anomalously salty ocean surface salinity values in climatologically drier locations and anomalously fresh values in rainier locations observed in recent years generally persisted in 2008, suggesting an increase in the hydrological cycle. The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was the 14th busiest on record and the only season ever recorded with major hurricanes each month from July through November. Conversely, activity in the northwest Pacific was considerably below normal during 2008. While activity in the north Indian Ocean was only slightly above average, the season was punctuated by Cyclone Nargis, which killed over 145,000 people; in addition, it was the seventh-strongest cyclone ever in the basin and the most devastating to hit Asia since 1991.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1175/BAMS-90-8-StateoftheClimate
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65005149