Monthly record-warm streak ends, September 2nd warmest on record for globe

The year to date continues to be record warm
October 18, 2016
A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and changes in sea ice coverage.

August's warmth spread into September, contributing to the warmest year to date for the globe, but not enough to continue the recent 16-month streak of record warmth. Even so, September 2016 ranked as the second warmest September on record.  

September was 1.60 degrees F above the 20th-century average, missing last year’s record for the month by just 0.07 degrees, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information

For the year to date, the average global temperature was 1.78 degrees F above average, surpassing the heat record set in 2015 by 0.23 degrees.  

Here are some significant climate events that happened around the world in September 2016.
A world map of significant climate events that occured in September 2016

More notable findings around the world include:

  • The globally averaged sea surface temperature tied with 2014 as the second warmest on record for September and warmest on record for the year to date (January–September);
  • The globally averaged land surface temperature was record high for September and the year to date); 
  • Record-warm continents: Europe and Asia had their warmest September; Africa had its second; and North America had its third; 
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for September was 27.8 percent below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fifth smallest September extent since records began in 1979; and 
  • The average Antarctic sea ice extent for September was 2.0 percent below the 1981–2010 average, the fifth smallest on record for the month. 

More: Access NOAA’s report and download images by visiting the NCEI website.

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