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Globe had its 2nd-hottest October and year to date on record

Arctic sea ice coverage also shrank to a record low last month
November 18, 2019
A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and changes in sea ice coverage.

Planet Earth continued to sweat in unrelenting heat last month making October 2019 the second-hottest October recorded, just behind 2015. 

It was also the second-hottest year to date (January through October) on record for the globe. Continuing its melting trend, Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to its smallest size yet for October. 

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

Climate by the numbers

October 2019

The average global land and ocean surface temperature for October 2019 was 1.76 degrees F (0.98 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average and the second highest October temperature on record. This value was only 0.11 of a degree F (0.06 of a degree C) short of the record-warm October set in 2015.

The 10 warmest Octobers have occurred since 2003, with the five warmest Octobers occurring since 2015. October 2019 was also the 43rd consecutive October and the 418th consecutive month with temperatures — at least nominally — above the 20th-century average.

Year to date | January through October

The year to date global land and ocean surface temperature of 1.69 degrees F (0.94 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average made it the second-warmest January-through-October period in the 140-year record. This was 0.16 of a degree F (0.09 of a degree C) cooler than the record-warm year to date set in 2016.

An annotated map showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in October 2019. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story and at http://bit.ly/Global201910
An annotated map showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in October 2019. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story and at http://bit.ly/Global201910.

More notable climate events from this report

  • Arctic sea ice coverage was the smallest ever recorded for October at 32.2 percent below the 1981–2010 average. The 10 smallest Arctic sea ice extents for October have occurred since 2007.

  • Warmth around the world: Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands region experienced temperatures that ranked among the three highest on record for October. 

  • The world’s average sea surface temperature ranked second-warmest ever recorded for the year to date — less than a 10th of a degree cooler than the record-warm sea surface temperature observed in 2016.

Access NOAA’s latest climate report and related images.

Media contact 

John Bateman, (301) 713-9604