Climate: September temps shatter records

Hot, hotter, hottest …

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Staff Report

Global temperatures once again soared to record highs in September, across both land and sea surfaces, spiking to 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

According to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly State of the Climate report, that makes it the warmest September in the historic climate record, dating back to 1880. September’s high temperature was also the greatest rise above average for any month in the 136-year historical record, surpassing the previous record set in both February and March this year by 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to NOAA, September was the fifth straight month to set a record high temperature, and the monthly departure from average was the highest for any month on record, going back to 1880.

The September temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. Large regions of Earth’s land surfaces were much warmer than average, with record warmth observed across northeastern Africa stretching into the Middle East, part of southeastern Asia, most of the northern half of South America, and parts of central and eastern North America. Southern South America, far western Canada, Alaska, and a swath across central Asia were cooler or much cooler than average.

A strong El Niño also drove sea surface temperatures to warmest readings ever recorded, at 1.46 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

Sea surface temperatures during September 2015 were well above the 1981–2010 average in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean, and other areas across the world’s ocean surfaces also experienced record warmth or much warmer-than-average conditions for September, including the entire Indian Ocean, most of the central Atlantic and part of the South Atlantic, and the Greenland, Norwegian, and Barents Seas in the Arctic.

A large patch in the Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland remained much cooler than average. Waters in the northwestern Pacific and around the southern tip of South America were also cooler than average, with a small region near Antarctica record cold.

The year to-date also continues to set records, with the first nine months of 2015 comprising the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous records of 2010 and 2014 by 0.21 degrees Fahrenheit..

Seven months this year, including the past five, have been record warm for their respective months. January was the second warmest January on record and April third warmest.

Info compiled from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for September 2015, published online October 2015, retrieved on October 22, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201509.

 

 

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