US weather agency says October 2014 broke all the records – and that the year is on track to be the hottest ever
By Sophie Yeo
October was globally the warmest ever since records began, according to the US federal weather agency.
The month recorded temperatures 0.74C above the 20th century average of 14C, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when both land and sea measurements were taken into account.
“The record high October temperature was driven by warmth across the globe over both the land and ocean surfaces and was fairly evenly distributed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres,” said NOAA in a review of the year.
If land data is considered alone, then the month clocks in at the fifth hottest October on record.
But when the unusually warm oceans are taken into account, the month breaks a new record. October global sea surface temperatures reached 0.62C above the global average.
The abnormal ocean temperatures occurred even in the absence of an El Niño – a large scale warming event that was expected this year but never arrived. There is a 60% chance that a weak El El Niño could yet develop in the northern hemisphere during the winter, NOAA said.
The last ocean temperature record was set in 1998 – a particularly intense El Niño year. 2014 broke this by 0.03C.
The warm weather was felt across the globe:
Australia – second warmest October on record
Germany – third warmest October on record
Denmark – second warmest October on record
Switzerland – fourth warmest October on record
Norway – parts of Rogeland and some areas in Østafjells hit temperatures 3–4C above average
Taking land and ocean together, the world was 0.68C for the first ten months of 2014, putting it on course to be the warmest year on record.
Record warmth has been particularly evident across northern and western Europe, parts of far east Russia and large areas of the northeastern and western equatorial Pacific Ocean, said NOAA.
It added: “It is also notable that record warmth was observed in at least some areas of every continent and major ocean basin around the world.”