Canadian Underwriter

September 2016 ranks as 2nd warmest September on record for globe, but 16-month record heat wave ends

October 20, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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The month of September 2016 ranked as the second warmest September on record, but not enough to continue the recent 16-month streak of record warmth, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States has reported.

Hot summer day in Frankfurt am MainAugust’s warmth spread into September, contributing to the warmest year to date for the globe, NOAA said in a press release earlier this week. Last month, NOAA reported that August 2016 marked the 16th month of record warmth for the globe – the longest such streak in 137 years.

September was 1.60 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, missing last year’s record for the month by just 0.07°F, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information said in the release. For the year to date, the average global temperature was 1.78°F above average, surpassing the heat record set in 2015 by 0.23°F.

In August, NOAA said that July 2016 was the hottest month on record for the globe – 1.57°F above the century average. That month also broke the previous year’s record for the warmest July by 0.11°F.

Among NOAA’s most recent findings:

  • 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 to September). The September globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F above the 20th century monthly average of 61.1°F, tying with 2014 as the second highest global ocean temperature for September in the 1880–2016 record, behind 2015 by 0.16°F;
  • The globally averaged land surface temperature was record high for September and the year to date. The September globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.32°F above the 20th century average of 53.6°F. This value was the highest September land global temperature in the 1880–2016 record, exceeding the previous record set in 2015 by 0.20°F. In the 137-year record, the 12 highest September global land temperatures have all occurred during the 21st century;
  • Europe and Asia had their warmest September; Africa had its second; and North America had its third; and
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for September was 27.8% below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fifth smallest September extent since records began in 1979.