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"Hottest Ever" is becoming a mantra for 2014, with yet another month breaking all climate records so far, and according to NOAA, 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record.

NASA & NOAA agree: Hottest October on record


Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Friday, November 21, 2014, 10:00 GMT - The weather may be cold across most of North America this week, but back in October, temperatures were soaring around the world, in some places, reaching record levels over what is normally seen during the month. With the trends seen so far in 2014, this year may take the top spot as the hottest year ever recorded.

According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC):

                    

With records dating back to 1880, the global temperature averaged across the world's land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for the month, at 0.74 C (1.33 F) above the 20th century average. This also marks the third consecutive month and fifth of the past six with a record high global temperature for its respective month (July was fourth highest).

                    

The two maps below, provided by NASA earlier this month (on the left), and NOAA on November 20 (on the right), show just how hot it was around the globe, compared to normal (the 1981-2010 average).

Credit: NASA/GISS

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

While Siberia was definitely cooler than normal, and there were some other patches around the globe that registered slightly cooler, the above-average to well-above-average temperatures certainly dominated for the month. Of particular note are the western and eastern coasts of Canada and the northern United States, Europe, central South America, Australia, and eastern Antarctica.

Record highs across the globe also completely outnumbered lows (click here), and no record lows were even measured for the entire month.


How does October 2014 stack up against previous years' Octobers?

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

The graphs above rank all months of October since 1880, for the entire globe and split into northern and southern hemispheres. The zero (0) degree line in each graph isn't some baseline set back in the 1800s, though. Rather, it's the full 20th century average, covering 100 years, from 1901 to 2000. With a vast majority of cooler temperatures back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and an overwhelming majority of warmer temperatures over the past 30 years - although there are some 'wiggles' from year to year, the graphs show the undeniable warming trend the world is experiencing. Even with the seeming 'plateau' that the graph forms over the past 10 years or so, with the previous warmest October for the globe being in 2003, temperatures are still roughly a degree Celsius warmer than they were 100 years ago, and rising.

Long-term rising temperatures are one thing, but what effect is this having on the planet?

The map below catalogues just some of the climate anomalies and events that occurred during the month of October.

Credit: NOAA/NCDC

Unusual heat across North America, Europe and Australia. Extreme storms like Hurricane Gonzalo along the west coast of North America and Cyclone Hudhud making landfall in India. Changing in ice extent at both ends of the world. Unusual rainfall totals in Japan. And this is but a small sample (click here for more).

Another remarkable factor in the trend so far this year is that, as NOAA points out, all of the near-record to record warming of the Earth's oceans over this year so far have been without the influence of El Nino. This large-scale weather pattern in the equatorial Pacific Ocean is known to raise global ocean temperatures (and thus global surface temperatures), which can produce record warmth. 2010, 2005 and 1998 - ranking as the #1, #2 and #3 warmest years, globally – were all considered El Nino years. With this year pushing towards the top spot on that list, without any 'help' from El Nino, it sets a dangerous precedent.


 RELATED: Could it be the warmest year on record for the UK?


With nearly six weeks left in 2014, what does this all mean for the year?

NOAA's State of the Climate report says:

                    

The first ten months of 2014 (January–October) were the warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and tied in 2010 by 0.02°C (0.04°F). 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record.


Follow Scott Sutherland on
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