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Globe sees 2nd warmest year to date, 3rd warmest August on record

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverage remains at near-record lows
September 18, 2017 The final days of August signaled summer’s end for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. So, how did this summer compare to others?  
A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and changes in sea ice coverage.

For the entire globe, both August and the season (June, July and August) each went down as the third warmest on record. But depending on where you live, the summer you experienced may have felt warmer or cooler than normal.    

Let’s dive deeper into our monthly analysis for the fuller picture:

Climate by the numbers

 

August

August 2017 was 1.49 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degree F.  This was the third highest in the 1880-2017 record, behind 2016 (highest) and 2015 (second highest). This marks the 41st consecutive August and 392nd consecutive month with global temperatures at least nominally above average, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Seasonal | June through August 2017


The seasonal global temperature for June through August was 1.46 degrees F above the average of 60.1 degrees F — the third highest for this period in the record, trailing 2016 (highest) and 2015 (second highest).

Year to date | January through August 2017

Looking at the year to date, the global temperature was 1.58 degrees F above the average of 57.3 degrees F, the second highest for this period in the record after 2016.

See what else happened around the globe in August 2017.
See what else happened around the globe in August 2017. (NOAA NCEI)

Other notable climate findings and facts around the world last month included:

  • Near-record sea ice at the poles: The average Arctic sea ice extent (coverage) for August was 24.3 percent below the 1981-2010 average, the third smallest for the month since satellite records began in 1979. The average Antarctic sea ice extent was 3.6 percent below average, the second smallest on record for August.
  • Warmer-than-average lands and oceans: The globally averaged land-surface temperature (second warmest for the month of August and the June-through-August period) and the sea-surface temperature (fourth warmest for August and the June-through-August period) ranked second highest on record for record for the year to date.
  • Africa led the continents in warmth rankings: Africa had its second warmest August on record; South America, Asia and Europe had their third; Oceania its fifth; and North America its 22nd.

More: You can find NOAA’s report and download related maps and images by visiting the NCEI website.

Media contact

Brady Phillips, 202-407-1298