November 2015 was the warmest such month on record for the planet, says NOAA. But November’s record-breaking temperature is far from the most remarkable result in 2015. It has been an incredible year for Earth, toppling records left and right.
November’s average temperature across land and ocean was an exceptional 1.75 degrees above the 20th century average, exceeding the previous record set in 2013 by 0.27 degrees. The November temperature departure — 1.75 degrees — was the second highest out of any month in NOAA’s 136-year period of record. The highest was just set one month before in October, at 1.79 degrees.
On Tuesday, NASA also announced that November was 1.9 degrees above its preferred base period from 1951 to 1980. It was the second month that exceeded the significant 1-degree Celsius threshold in NASA’s records. The first month was October.
The oceans alone also set a new November record, NOAA says, in large part due to the very strong El Niño that has been present in the equatorial Pacific since April. Ocean surface temperature was 1.15 degrees above the 20th century average and surpassed the old record set just last year by 0.36 degrees.
The November announcement pales in comparison to some of the other sobering milestones this incredibly warm year has surpassed.
2015 year-to-date is warmest on record
This year is going to smash 2014 as the warmest year on record. Even without knowing how December will end, we know this. Through November, the average annual temperature of our planet was 1.57 degrees above average. We’re running ahead of last year by 0.14 degrees.
The only way 2015 doesn’t become the warmest year on record is if December ends 0.43 degrees colder than the coldest December on record. That’s not going to happen, especially the way this month is going.
Every month since May has been warmest such month on record
For seven months in a row, the globe has set a new monthly temperature record. In fact, nine out of the 11 months so far this year were the warmest on record — only in January and April did we not set new records. January was the 24th warmest on record (remember how cold it was in the Eastern U.S.?) and April was the 17th warmest.
July was the warmest month on record, period
For any month, in any year — July 2015 takes the prize. The globe’s average temperature was 61.86 degrees, 1.46 degrees above average for the month of July. NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency found that July was the warmest month in their records, as well.
Though it was cool for much of the month in the Central and Eastern United States, the rest of the world was baking in record warmth.
Several cities in Europe, including Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt and London, set or came close to all-time hot temperature records. Boise saw nine straight days of 100-plus heat, which tied the all-time record streak. Seattle hit 90 degrees for five straight days.
Melting surged on the Greenland ice sheet in July, and scientists wondered if the resulting “cold pool” in the North Atlantic was “part of a process that has been long feared by climate researchers — the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation,” wrote The Post’s Chris Mooney.
“The average temperature for Africa was the second highest for July on record, behind only 2002, with regional record warmth across much of eastern Africa into central areas of the continent,” the July NOAA report said. “Record warmth was also observed across much of northern South America, parts of southern Europe and central Asia, and the far western United States.”
The fall season was warmest on record for U.S. and globe
The three months from September to November registered as the warmest such period on record for the entire globe, says NOAA. This announcement comes after the National report on Dec. 9 that it was also the warmest fall on record for the continental U.S.
Not a single state in the Lower 48 saw below average temperatures this fall. The average autumn temperature in the United States was 56.8 degrees, which is 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average, and the warmest such period in 121 years of record-keeping. The previous record for warmest fall was set in 1963, when the average temperature was 56.6 degrees.
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