Date:
September 18, 2014

 

Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Summary:
According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was the highest for August since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive August with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for August occurred in 1976.

 

 

20140919-1
August 2014 blended land and sea surface temperature percentiles.
Credit: Image courtesy of NOAA

 

 

According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was the highest for August since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive August with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for August occurred in 1976.

This monthly summary from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, the business sector, academia, and the public to support informed decision making.

Global temperature highlights: August

  • Land and Ocean Combined: The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was the record highest for the month, at 61.45°F (16.35°C), or 1.35°F (0.75°C) above the 20th century average of 60.1°F (15.6°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.22°F (0.12°C).This temperature beats the previous record set in 1998 by 0.07°F (0.04°C). Including August, three of the past four months had record high global temperatures for their respective months; the exception was July 2014 which ranked fourth highest for the month.
  • Land Only: The August global land temperature was the second highest for August on record, behind only 1998, at 1.78°F (0.99°C) above the 20th century average of 56.9°F (13.8°C), with a margin of error of +/- 0.43°F (0.24°C). Warmer than average temperatures were evident over most of the global land surface, except for parts of western Europe, northern Siberia, parts of eastern Asia and much of central Australia stretching north.
  • Some national land temperature highlights include:
    • Following a record warm July, Norway had an August temperature that was 1.8°F (1.0°C) higher than the 1961-1990 long-term average for the country.
    • The U.K. had its coolest August since 1993, with a temperature 1.8°F (1.0°C) below its 1981-2010 average. It also ended a streak of eight consecutive warmer-than-average months.
  • Ocean Only: The August global sea surface temperature was 1.17°F (0.65°C) above the 20th century average of 61.4°F (16.4°C), the highest on record for August. This departure from average not only beats the previous August record set in 2005 by 0.14°F (0.08°C), but also beats the previous all-time record set just two months ago in June 2014 by 0.05°F (0.03°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.09°F (0.05°C). Record warmth was observed across much of the central and western equatorial Pacific along with sections scattered across the eastern Pacific and regions of the western Indian Ocean, particularly notable in the waters east of Madagascar.
  • Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during August 2014. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center estimates that there is a 60-65 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter.

Global temperature highlights: June-August

  • Land and Ocean Combined: The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June-August was the highest on record for this period, at 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.22°F (0.12°C).
  • Land Only: The global land temperature was the fifth highest on record for June-August, at 1.64°F (0.91°C) above the 20th century average of 56.9°F (13.8°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.36°F (0.20°C).
  • Some national land temperature highlights include:
    • Although the temperature was 0.4°F (0.2°C) higher than the 1981-2010 average, summer 2014 was the coolest since 2005 for Austria since records began in 1884.
    • Summer in Denmark was 2.9°F (1.6°C) warmer than the 1961-1990 average and 0.7°F (0.4°C) warmer than the more recent 2001-2010 average. The second highest July temperature on record contributed to the summer warmth.
  • Ocean Only: The June-August global sea surface temperature was 1.13°F (0.63°C), above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C), the highest for June-August on record. This beats the previous record set in 2009 by 0.08°F (0.04°C). The margin of error is +/- 0.09°F (0.05°C). Much warmer than average temperatures were observed across most of the Indian Ocean and large parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Record warmth was particularly notable across a large swath of the Indian Ocean and parts of the western equatorial and northern Pacific Ocean.

Snow and ice highlights: August

  • Arctic: The average Arctic sea ice extent for August was 2.40 million square miles, 390,000 square miles (13.9 percent) below the 1981-2010 average and the seventh smallest August extent since records began in 1979 but the largest since 2009, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent was below average throughout much of the Arctic except the Barents Sea. By the end of August, the Northern Sea Route was open, with ice still blocking the Northwest Passage.
  • Antarctic: On the opposite pole, the Antarctic sea ice extent for August was 7.41 million square miles, 420,000 square miles (6.0 percent) above the 1981-2010 average. This was the largest August Antarctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979, surpassing the previous record large August sea ice extent that occurred in 2013 by about 90,000 square miles. The last five months have had record large sea ice extent in the Antarctic. The August Antarctic sea ice extent was also the eighth largest for any month.

Precipitation highlights: August and June-August

  • Extreme wetness was observed during August across part of the central United States, parts of northern Europe, central Siberia, Japan and eastern Australia. Much of Japan received heavy rainfall from Typhoons Nakri and Halong during the first half of the month. Extreme dryness was scattered across small regions of each of the major continents.
    • The cooler-than-average August temperatures in the U.K. were accompanied by wet conditions. August tied as the seventh wettest since records began in 1910, due in part to ex-Hurricane Bertha passing over the U.K. on the 10th and 11th. Northern Scotland was record wet.
    • Latvia reported its fifth wettest August on record and second wettest for the 21st century, receiving 178 percent of the country’s long-term average precipitation.
    • In France, even with a drier than average June, total summer (June-August) precipitation was more than 140 percent of average, marking one of the 10 wettest summers since national records began in 1959. It was the wettest July-August period on record for the country.
    • The Southwest Monsoon brought just 82 percent of the long-term (1951-2000) average rainfall to India for the period June 1 to August 27. All regions were below average. Northwest India received just 66 percent of its average amount, while the South Peninsula was closest to its long-term average among all regions, at 89 percent of average. By the end of August, the monsoon trough was generally near the Himalayan foothills.

Global temperature highlights: Year-to-date

  • Land and Ocean Combined: January-August was the third warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average of 57.3°F (14.0°C). If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.20°F (0.11°C).
  • Land Only: The January-August worldwide land surface temperature was 1.82°F (1.01°C) above the 20th century average, the fifth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.41°F (0.23°C).
  • Ocean Only: The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.99°F (0.55°C) above average, tying with 2010 as the second warmest such period on record, behind only 1998. The margin of error is +/-0.09°F (0.05°C).

On the Web:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “August and June-August global temperatures each reach record high, driven largely by record warm global oceans.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140918111917.htm>.