In terms of global temperature 2012 is turning out to be a very interesting year. Monitoring this year’s temperature is however less thorough than for many years as the newly established Hadcrut4 database is still not updated beyond the end of 2010, and the dataset it’s replacing, HadCrut3, though still being updated by the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, has not had a new entry since March 2012 (the Met Office version of Hadcrut3 is being updated).
What the CRU Hadcrut3 does show is that the first three months of 2012 were way outside the top ten starts to any year in their database. January was the 16th warmest, February the 22nd and March the 15th warmest.
NASA’s Giss dataset started the year in the same way; January was the 17th warmest January, February the 16th and March the 15th. Then the Boreal Spring started to get considerable warmer. April was the 5th warmest on record and May the second warmest ever, after 2010.
Satellite data also show the same thing, RSS data has January about the 10th warmest, February the 16th and March the 14th. Then April is the 3rd and May the 7th warmest on record.
The NOAA global temperature database is perhaps the most dramatic this year. January is 19th, February 22nd, March 19th. NOAA has said that April was the second warmest April on record, but looking at their data I see that it is behind 2010, 2007 and 2005. May is the 2nd warmest on record, after 2010.
NOAA says that April and May push 2012 towards the top ten warmest years (it’s currently at 11th according to them) but their graph of the year so far shows just how much the remainder of the year has to make up if 2012 is to be a record. For 2012 to be a record year the temperature of the rest of the year would have to follow a unique profile. Click on image to enlarge.
I think it is unlikely that 2012 will be a record year, but wether it will break into the top ten warmest years on record no one can say, though even that is looking doubtful. From the data we have, and from experience, it seems as though the global temperature standstill seen for the past 15 years will continue in 2012.