Global Temperature Update: September 2016

Oct 18, 2016

NOAA released its monthly global temperature analysis for September 2016 this morning. Over land surfaces only, it was the hottest September since NOAA records began in 1880. Over land and ocean surfaces combined, this was the second hottest September on record.

September 2016 was the 381st consecutive month with above average global temperatures, and 16 of the 17 warmest months on record have come in 2015 or 2016.

Some additional statistics for September 2016:

• The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 1.60°F (0.89°C) above the 20th century average — second highest on record. The only September that was warmer was 2015, when El Niño was strengthening in the Pacific Ocean.

• The globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.32°F (1.29°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest September on record.

• The globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average, tying 2014 for the second highest on record. Only 2015 was warmer.

• With the recent strong El Niño having come to an end, September 2016 effectively snapped the 16-month streak of record warm monthly global temperatures.

Global year-to-date temperatures through September:

• The temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was the highest on record, at 1.78°F (0.99°C) above the 20th century average of 57.5°F (14.2°C).

The NOAA results are close to those released from NASA yesterday, which indicated that September 2016 was 0.004°C (0.007°F) warmer than the previous warmest September in 2014. The margin is so narrow that those two months are in a statistical tie.

To better represent how much the temperature has changed since the early industrial area, we have combined the NOAA and NASA global temperature data and adjusted it to a baseline of 1881-1910.