Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Arctic Temperature Update

As promised, here's some follow-up information on Arctic temperatures last year.  For the 32 sites that I regularly look at, the 2022 annual average temperature was slightly less than 1°C above the 1991-2020 reference period.  The warmth was widespread, but was most pronounced in the western half of the Russian Arctic, with some sites more than 2°C above normal for the year.

Only two of the 32 sites had an annual temperature below the modern normal, with Kotzebue being the coolest - and that's partly because 2014-2019 were so incredibly warm there (thus contributing to a higher "normal").

According to this data, 2022 was warmer than 2021 overall in the Arctic, but not as warm as 2019 and 2020; and 2016 remains the warmest year on record.  Below are the temperature anomaly maps from prior years since 2015.


The jump up from 2015 to 2016 is attributable to the super-El Niño of winter 2015-2016, as global average temperatures also jumped up at that time.  Remarkably, every one of the 32 sites was warmer than the modern normal in 2016, the only year that's happened.  Here's the chart view of monthly anomalies since 2010.

The slight reduction in overall warmth in the last two years is probably also related to ENSO: the tropical Pacific has been in the grip of La Niña for two and a half years now.  However, a standardized view of the monthly anomalies shows that there have been some extreme spikes in monthly temperature at some sites in the past two years - see below.

 A longer-term view:

It's going to be "interesting" to see what happens when the next El Niño arrives; it could be later this year, judging from the latest seasonal model guidance and expert opinion at NOAA.

No comments:

Post a Comment