Copernicus Report: Surface Temperature Anomalies in October 2019
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Globally, October was 0.69°C warmer than the average October from 1981-2010, making it by a narrow margin the warmest October in this data record. Europe generally saw above-average temperatures, with the exception of most of the north and north-west of the continent. Temperatures were much above average in large parts of the Arctic, while much of western USA and Canada experienced much below average temperatures.
October temperatures in 2019 were above the 1981-2010 average for most of Europe, especially so in the east and south-east. Below-average temperatures occurred over most of the north and north-west of the continent.
Elsewhere, temperatures over the northern hemispheric land masses were markedly above average over parts of the Arctic, over the eastern USA and Canada, and over the Middle East and much of North Africa and Russia. Temperatures were likewise well above average over southern Brazil, southern Africa, western and southern Australia, and most of eastern Antarctica.
Temperatures over land were substantially below average over a region encompassing much of the western USA and Canada. They were also below average in parts of tropical Africa and Antarctica, and to a lesser degree over several other regions.
Regions of below-average temperature occurred over all major oceans, including the tropical eastern Pacific and the ice-covered Weddell Sea. Air temperatures over sea were nevertheless predominantly higher than average, especially so over several Arctic and Antarctic seas and over the north-eastern Pacific Ocean.
Global temperatures were substantially above average in October 2019. The month was:
- 0.69°C warmer than the average October from 1981-2010, making it by a narrow margin the warmest October in this data record;
- an insignificant 0.01°C warmer than October 2015, the second warmest October;
- 0.09°C warmer than October 2017, the third warmest October.
European-average temperature anomalies are generally larger and more variable than global anomalies, especially in winter, when they can change by several degrees from one month to the next. The European-average temperature for October 2019 was:
- 1.1°C warmer than the average October from 1981-2010;
- The third warmest October in the period from 1979 onwards: 2001 and 2006 were warmer.
The last 12 months - November 2018 to October 2019
Temperatures averaged over the twelve-month period from November 2018 to October 2019 were:
- much above the 1981-2010 average over most of the Arctic, peaking over and near Alaska and over the central parts of northern Siberia;
- above average over virtually all of Europe;
- above average over most other areas of land and ocean, especially so over north-eastern China, the Middle East, south-east Asia, Australia, southern Africa and some parts of the Antarctic;
- below average over some land and oceanic areas, most notably over the North American prairies.
Averaging over twelve-month periods smooths out the shorter-term variations. Globally, the twelve-month period from November 2018 to October 2019 was 0.56°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. The warmest twelve-month period was from October 2015 to September 2016, with a temperature 0.66°C above average. 2016 is the warmest calendar year on record, with a global temperature 0.63°C above that for 1981-2010. The second warmest calendar year, 2017, had a temperature 0.54°C above average, while the third warmest year, 2018, was 0.46°C above the 1981-2010 average.
0.63°C should be added to these values to relate recent global temperatures to the pre-industrial level defined in the IPCC Special Report on “Global Warming of 1.5°C”. Monthly temperatures over the past twelve months have averaged close to 1.2°C above this pre-industrial level. The October temperature is 1.2°C above the level.
The spread in the global averages from various temperature datasets has been relatively large over the past three years. During this period the twelve-month average values presented here are higher than those from several independent datasets, by between 0.05°C and 0.15°C for the twelve months for which spread is largest. This is due partly to differences in the extent to which datasets represent the relatively warm conditions that have predominated over the Arctic and the seas around Antarctica. Differences in estimates both of sea-surface temperature elsewhere and of temperatures over land outside the Arctic have been further factors. There is nevertheless general agreement between datasets regarding:
- The exceptional warmth of 2016, and the warmth also of 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019;
- The overall average rate of warming of around 0.18°C per decade since the late 1970s;
- The sustained period of above-average temperatures from 2001 onwards.
There is more variability in average European temperatures, but values are less uncertain because observational coverage of the continent is relatively dense. Twelve-month averages for Europe were at a high level from 2014 to 2016. They then fell, but remained 0.5°C or more above the 1981-2010 average. Twelve-month averages have risen since then, but have again fallen in recent months. The latest average, for the period from November 2018 to October 2019, is 1.1°C above the 1981-2010 norm. The warmest such period, from April 2018 to March 2019, was 1.5°C above average.
The average surface air temperature analysis homepage explains more about the production and reliability of the values presented here.