Unless the weather takes a drastic, cooler turn, 2015 is well on pace to become the warmest year globally on record. That’s after NOAA reports September had the warmest average global land and ocean temperatures since records began in 1880.
There were pockets of colder-than-average temperatures, most notably in Spain and Alaska, which both saw the coldest September in more than a decade. However, the U.S. saw the second-warmest September since 1998 and South America experienced its warmest September on record.
Warm September weather only extends a trend that has been present all year long. 2015 has tracked as the warmest year on record every month since January. Seven months in 2015, including the past five, were record warm for their respective months.
The six warmest years on record have all occurred within the past 17 years – 1998, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Strong El Niño conditions in September helped fuel higher global ocean temperatures, a trend that may last several more months. According to NOAA, “The CPC expects this El Niño to peak in late fall/early winter and estimates there is about a 95 percent chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015/16, gradually weakening through spring 2016.”
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