Polar sea ice coverage remains at near-record lows
It was another hot one for the record books.
Besides ushering in the fifth hottest August, steady heat through the first eight months of 2018 made it the fourth warmest year to date for the planet.
Here’s a breakdown of NOAA’s latest monthly global climate analysis:
Climate by the numbers
The average global temperature in August was 1.33 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degrees. This was the fifth highest global temperature for August in the 139-year record (1880–2018). Last month was also the 42nd consecutive August and the 404th consecutive month with temperatures above average.
The year to date I January through August
The year-to-date average global temperature was 1.37 degrees F above average of 57.3 degrees. This is the fourth highest on record for the January through August (YTD) period, but 0.47 of a degree lower than the record high set in 2016 for the same period.
More notable climate facts and stats
The globally averaged land-surface temperature was sixth highest on record for August and the fourth highest for the YTD (January–August) period.
The globally averaged sea-surface temperature was fifth highest on record for August and the fifth highest for the YTD.
Each major ocean basin had areas that were record-warm last month, with the largest portions across the Barents Sea, western Pacific Ocean.
Warmth across continents: Last month, temperatures were at least 3.6 degrees F above average across much of Europe, central Asia, the northeast U.S. and southern Canada. In addition, small areas across Africa, Asia and North America also had record-warm August temperatures.
Sea ice coverage remains smaller than average at the poles: The average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) in August was 22.1 percent below the 1981–2010 average, making it the seventh-smallest extent for August on record. The Antarctic sea ice extent last month was 2.1 percent below average, the fifth smallest on record for August. Antarctic sea ice coverage expanded at a rate faster than average during the second half of August.
John Leslie, 301-713-0214