U.S. Department of Energy

    Global Temperatures in 2009 Tied with 2006 as Fifth Warmest on Record

    January 20, 2010

    The tally of global land and ocean surface temperatures for 2009 places it in a tie with 2006 as the fifth warmest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Ocean surface temperatures were 0.86°F above the 20th century average, which put them in a tie with 2002 and 2004 as the fourth warmest on record. Land surface temperatures averaged 1.39°F above the 20th century average, tying with 2003 as the seventh warmest on record. Combining the two yielded an average global surface temperature that was 1.01°F above the 20th century average. Perhaps more significantly, the decade of 2000 through 2009 was the warmest on record, with an average global surface temperature of 0.96°F above the 20th century average. For comparison, the 1990s was the next warmest decade, at 0.65°F above the 20th century average. See the full details of the 2009 global temperature trends on the NCDC Web site.