August 2010 was the third warmest on record worldwide.
1998 and 2009 are at the top.
The January through August temperatures are still running at the hottest levels ever recorded. If it stays as warm as it ha sbeen, then 2010 will go down as the hottest year ever recorded. If it does, it will be espcially noteworthy because of the developing La Nina in the Pacific.
1998 is the hottest year on record. It was helped by a massive El Nino that year. El Nino’s warm the planet because there is so much warm water in the Pacific. La Nina’s are in some ways the opposite. Colder waters across the Tropical Pacific tend to make a record high year unlikely.
A moderate La Nina is now developing. IF 2010 does indeed turn out to be the warmest, it will be a stunning signal from Mother Nature that greenhouse gases are truly becoming the major player in our climate.