NOAA: October Warmest On Record

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NOAA has just followed JMA and NASA in reporting on October’s average global surface temperature. The surface temperature is the combination of thermometer-at-head-height data and sea surface temperatures, averaged out for the planet. Several groups track this data, and though there is much overlap in the instruments used, each group has its own way of processing the data to eliminate errors and biases, and to adjust for missing information (such as large regions with little data).

NOAA points out that October had the greatest above-average departure from average for any month. Also, NOAA confirms that the year to date temperature is the highest in their data set, which goes back to the 19th century.

Other highlights from the NOAA web page:

  • The October average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.36°F (0.20°C), and marked the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken. This record departure from average was also the highest on record for any month, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.13°F (0.07°C).
  • The October globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39°F (1.33°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The October globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for October in the 1880–2015 record surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.27°F (0.15°C). This was also the highest departure from average for any of the 1630 months of recordkeeping, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2015 was 460,000 square miles (13.4 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth smallest October extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent during October 2015 was 90,000 square miles (1.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the 14th largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record. On October 6th, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its annual maximum extent at 7.24 million square miles, slightly above average and in contrast to the past three years when record large maximum sea ice extents were observed.
  • According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was 1.49 million square miles above the 1981–2010 average and the seventh largest in the 48-year period of record. Eurasia had its sixth largest October snow cover extent, while North America had its 11th largest.
  • The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.55°F (0.86°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C). Eight of the first ten months in 2015 have been record warm for their respective months.
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged land surface temperature was also the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record at 2.30°F (1.28°C) above the 20th century average. This value surpassed the previous record of 2007 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the 20th century average and the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record. This value surpassed the previous record of 2014 by +0.14°F (+0.08°C).
  • The full report for October is here.

    I put NOAA’s graphic of land and ocean temperature for the year to date at the top of the post. There are three things to note here.

    First, the vast majority of the planet’s surface is above average for the year so far. Second, huge areas of the land and sea are record warm for the year so far. Third, that blue patch in the North Atlantic is still there. This is a region that has been anomalously cool for several years now, and is of significant concern because changes in atmospheric and ocean conditions in that region may cause a shift in the major Atlantic sea currents that control a lot of weather in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in northern and western Eurasia.

    Here’s a graphic of specific anomalies of note for October 2015 (original here):

    201510

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    5 thoughts on “NOAA: October Warmest On Record

    1. Why is it that there’s no data for the Antarctic or Arctic regions? We are constantly finding data that state that we are losing gigatons of water from these areas but we don’t have a matching temperature profile/history. Seems like that would continue to provide insight into new models.

    2. Why is it that there’s no data for the Antarctic or Arctic regions?

      To take in situ data, you need a measuring station. On land, these are generally located in inhabited areas that aren’t undergoing serious political instability. On the ocean, you get data from ships, but of course these data are only available where ships go. Satellites can help to some extent, but latitude coverage is limited by the tilt of the orbital plane. Some of these pixels might have data from a single station (such as McMurdo in Antarctica, one of the few sites on that continent that is staffed year-round), and I would not be surprised if such pixels are excluded for statistical reasons. Or in some cases the period of record is not long enough for them to have established a baseline for computing the anomaly, or was not continuously operated during the period they use as a baseline.

      tl;dr: I think they prefer an “if in doubt, leave it out” stance.

    3. “NOAA points out that October had the greatest above-average departure from average for any month. Also, NOAA confirms that the year to date temperature is the highest in their data set, which goes back to the 19th century.”

      I didn’t realize NOAA or somebody was tracking the combination of thermometer-at-head-height data and sea surface temperatures over the entire planet back in the 1800s.

    4. The October globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39°F (1.33°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).

      sn, you are so f******g lazy and stupid it is almost beyond belief. It would be beyond belief if you had not been parading your ignorance like a badge of honor for so long, posting so many always incorrect – incorrect equally often from ignorance and dishonesty.

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