2014 August Global Average Temperatures Were Highest on Record

First Posted: Sep 18, 2014 12:56 PM EDT

How hot did it get in August? It was scorching, according to NOAA scientists. It turns out that the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces this August 2014 was the highest for August on record since record keeping began in 1880. Not only that, but it marked the 38th consecutive August with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

The researchers found that the combined average temperature over global land and ocean temperatures for August topped out at 61.45 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 1.35 degrees above the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees. Not only that, but this temperature beats out the previous temperature record set in 1998 by .07 degrees.

Even just looking at land temperatures, August was a scorcher. The August global land temperature was the second highest for August on record, falling right behind 1998 at 1.78 degrees above the 20th century average of 56.9 degrees. In addition, 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.

What's interesting is that there weren't any major weather patterns influencing this heat. Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during August 2014. That said, researchers do predict that there is a 60 to 65 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter.

The average Arctic sea ice extent was also below average for August. At 2.4 million square miles, it was 390,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average and was the seventh smallest August extent since records began in 1979.

The latest measurements show that global temperatures are continuing to rise. It highlights the importance of taking steps in order to curtail climate warming. Yet these measurements don't just serve as a warning; they also help scientists predict future climate trends and weather patterns, such as monsoons and other weather phenomena. This, in turn, can help people around the globe prepare for weather changes.

Want to learn more? You can find the entire weather analysis online on NOAA's website.

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