Environment

Last Month was 2nd Warmest September Ever Recorded

| by NOAA

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest September on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center
in Asheville, N.C. Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly
National Climatic Data Center analysis is part of the suite of climate
services NOAA provides.

NCDC scientists also reported that the
average land surface temperature for September was the second warmest
on record, behind 2005. Additionally, the global ocean surface
temperature was tied for the fifth warmest on record for
September.

Global Temperature Highlights

  • The
    combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.12 degrees F
    above the 20th century average of 59.0 degrees F. Separately the global
    land surface temperature was 1.75 degrees F above the 20th century
    average of 53.6 degrees F.
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  • Warmer-than-average
    temperatures engulfed most of the world’s land areas during the month.
    The greatest warmth occurred across Canada and the northern and western
    contiguous United States. Warmer-than-normal conditions also prevailed
    across Europe, most of Asia and Australia.
  • The
    worldwide ocean temperature tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest
    September on record, 0.90 degree F above the 20th century average of
    61.1 degrees F. The near-Antarctic southern ocean and the Gulf of
    Alaska featured notable cooler-than-average temperatures.

Other Highlights

  • Arctic
    sea ice covered an average 2.1 million square miles in September - the
    third lowest for any September since records began in 1979. The
    coverage was 23.8 percent below the 1979-2000 average, and the 13th
    consecutive September with below-average Arctic sea ice extent.
  • Antarctic
    sea ice extent in September was 2.2 percent above the 1979-2000
    average. This was the third largest September extent on record, behind
    2006 and 2007.
  • Typhoon Ketsana became
    2009’s second-deadliest tropical cyclone so far, claiming nearly 500
    lives across the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The storm
    struck the Philippines on September 26, leaving 80 percent of Manila
    submerged.

Scientists, researchers, and leaders
in government and industry use NCDC’s monthly reports to help track
trends and other changes in the world's climate. The data have a wide
range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what and when to
plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about
water, energy and other vital assets.

NOAA understands and
predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the
ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal
and marine resources.