17 September 2015
The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2015 was the warmest August on record, 1.58°F (0.88°C) warmer than the 20th century average, and surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.16°F (0.09°C). August 2015 tied with January 2007 as the third warmest monthly highest departure from average for any month since record keeping began in 1880. The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for January–August was also record warm.
The year so far is also the hottest on record, and with the heat so far and a strong El Nino, 2015 will almost certainly pass last year as the hottest ever.
Global highlights: August 2015
- The August average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 20th century average—the warmest August on record, surpassing the previous record by +0.16°F (+0.09°C). This was the sixth month in 2015 that has broken its monthly temperature record (February, March, May, June, July, and August).
- The August globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.05°F (1.14°C) above the 20thcentury average. This was the highest for August in the 1880–2015 record, besting the previous record set in 1998 by +0.23°F (+0.13°C). Record warmth was observed across much of South America and parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
- The August globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.40°F (0.78°C) above the 20thcentury average. This was the highest temperature for any month in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in July 2015 2014 by +0.07°F (+0.04°C). Large portions of the seven seas (where temperature records are available) recorded much-warmer-than-average temperatures, with some locations across all oceans experiencing record warmth.
- El Niño conditions were present across the tropical Pacific Ocean during August 2015. According to analysis by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015/16.
- The average Arctic sea ice extent for August 2015 was 620,000 square miles (22.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fourth smallest August extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.