Earth had its 6th-warmest August on record

Antarctic sea ice set record low; Northern Hemisphere saw its 2nd-hottest summer

Sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
After months of darkness, the sun rose briefly at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, on August 7, 2022. The flat white visible beyond the land is the annual sea ice that forms on top of McMurdo Sound. The darker area is open ocean water. By August, the annual sea ice normally is five or six feet thick and will extend 30 or 40 miles north before open water is visible. It is unusual to have open water this far south in August. Antarctic sea ice coverage hit a record low for the third consecutive month in August 2022. (Steve McGowan/National Science Foundation/Antarctic Photo Library/Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

August 2022 was the world’s sixth-warmest August in 143 years, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The warm August wrapped up the Northern Hemisphere’s second-hottest meteorological summer on record.

Here are highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers

August 2022

The average global land and ocean surface temperature in August was 1.62 degrees F (0.90 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C), making it the sixth-hottest August in the 143-year global climate record. 

North America and Europe both had their hottest Augusts on record as Asia recorded its fourth-hottest August. South America, Africa and the Oceania region all had warmer-than-average Augusts but none saw a top-10 warm August.

Season (June through August) | Year to date (YTD) 

The season was Earth’s fifth warmest on record — tied with 2015 and 2017 — at 1.60 degrees F (0.89 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average. The five warmest June-August periods on record have occurred since 2015. 

June–August 2022 was the Northern Hemisphere’s second-hottest meteorological summer on record at 2.07 degrees F (1.15 degrees C) above average, behind Summer 2020. Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere had its 10th-warmest winter on record.

Globally, the YTD (January–August) ranked as sixth-warmest ever recorded, at 1.55 degrees F (0.86 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 57.3 degrees F (14.0 degrees C). According to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Outlook, there is a greater than 99% chance that 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record but less than 11% chance that it will rank among the top five.

 map of the world plotted with some of the most significant climate events that occurred during August 2022.
A map of the world plotted with some of the most significant climate events that occurred during August 2022. Please see the story below as well as more details in the report summary from NOAA NCEI at http://bit.ly/Global202208 offsite link. (NOAA NCEI)

Other notable climate events

Antarctic sea ice set another record low: For the third consecutive month, Antarctica set a record low sea ice extent (coverage) since records began in 1979. The August 2022 Antarctic sea ice extent was 6.55 million square miles, or about 290,000 square miles below average.  Arctic sea ice saw its 13th-smallest August extent in the 44-year record, with sea ice coverage about 467,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average.

The globe saw nine named storms in August: Four of the nine named storms reached tropical cyclone strength (74 mph or higher), including Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, the first Category 5 tropical cyclone of 2022. August 2022 had no named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, which is only the third August since 1950 — along with the Augusts of 1961 and 1997 — with no activity in the Atlantic. This August also marked only the seventh year since 1950 to have recorded no hurricanes in the Atlantic basin through August 31. 

More > Access NOAA’s full climate report and download images from NCEI website.

 

Media contact

John Bateman, nesdis.pa@noaa.gov, (202) 424-0929