This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Global Temperatures in 2009 Tied with 2006 as Fifth Warmest on Record
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.