2010 the 9000th Warmest Year

The year 2010 was one of weather extremes due mainly to the transition from El Nino to La Nina. The year has been much touted as the warmest in the last 150 years or at least the warmest since it was cooler. But, looking at a longer perspective, the 10,500 years of our current interglacial period, 2010 was cooler than about 9,000 of those years.

That is the contention of geologist Dr. Don J. Easterbrook. “One of the best ways to look at long-term temperatures is with isotope data from the GISP2 Greenland ice core, from which temperatures for thousands of years can be determined.” By looking at the ratio of oxygen- 16 to oxygen-18, the temperatures at the time snow fell over the glaciers can be determined. “The age of such temperatures can be accurately measured from annual layers of accumulation of rock debris marking each summer’s melting of ice and concentration of rock debris on the glacier.”

Cuffey and Clow

See Easterbrook’s full article here.



  1. If we had a La Nina this year in the pacific, why, then, was December, 2010 a very wet month? And, now that it is January, 2011, why are we still getting drenched? I thought that this is common to an el nino, not a la nina.

  2. From meteorologist Anthony Watts, speaking of California weather:

    The past month also serves as  precautionary reminder that all La Ninas (and El Ninos) are not created equal.  While the long term averaging of California rainfall from various warm and cold tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature can give a composite look at past events, there are NO absolutes for any given year.
    This is true with the current moderate/strong event which doesn’t fit the La Nina stereotype.  This was also the case with December 1955 and December 1964 which both saw extensive flooding over much of the state. 

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