Last Month Ranks Among The Hottest Of All Octobers Since Records Began


It comes after September broke in as the hottest September since records began, August tied, while June and July both shattered previously established temperature records.Duangdaw/Shutterstock

Last month slides in among the hottest of Octobers since records began, according to a new analysis by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

Around the world, October clocked in at 0.69°C warmer than the average October between 1981 and 2010, surpassing the previous record holders of October 2015 by 0.01°C and 2017 by 0.09°C. It comes after September and August of this year tied with previous records set, while June and July both shattered the 140-year temperature record. 

Europe saw above-average temperatures largely across the board, with the exception of most of the north and northwest parts of the continent. On the flip-side, the western US and Canada saw below-average temperatures. But when analyzing general trends over the last year, researchers at C3S saw temperatures, in general, were much higher over the Arctic, peaking over and near Alaska and northern Siberia, as well as higher over nearly all of Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and some parts of Antarctica.
Surface air temperature anomaly for October 2019 relative to the October average for the period 1981-2010. Data source: ERA5. Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF

“Averaging over twelve-month periods smooths out the shorter-term variations. Globally, the twelve-month period from November 2018 to October 2019 was 0.56°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. The warmest twelve-month period was from October 2015 to September 2016, with a temperature 0.66°C above average,” wrote the CCS in their review.

Overall, 2016 is still the warmest calendar year on record, followed by 2017 and then 2018.

“The spread in the global averages from various temperature datasets has been relatively large over the past three years,” says C3S. This is due in part to differences in how datasets represent relatively warm conditions over the Antarctic and Antarctic, as well as those of sea-surface temperatures.

C3S is a program designated under the European Union to offer open-access data on climate tools for adaptation and mitigation. To come to their conclusions, researchers analyzed October 2019 temperatures from around the world and compared them against temperatures from previous Octobers. Their findings add to a growing body of evidence that the world is warming – and more consistently and faster than previously estimated. Europe can expect to see more days with more extreme heat as part of the continent’s new normal, while Antarctica has seen an uptick in stratospheric warming in recent months.

Monthly global-mean and European-mean surface air temperature anomalies relative to 1981-2010, from January 1979 to October 2019. The darker colored bars denote the October values. Data source: ERA5. Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF

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