Last month was Earth's hottest September EVER, figures reveal

Last month was Earth’s hottest September EVER, data reveals – and forecasters say 2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record

  • September 2023 saw an average surface air temperature of 16.38°C
  • This officially makes las month the hottest September on record

Last month was Earth’s hottest September ever, data reveals – and forecasters say 2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record 

Copernicus, the EU climate change body, said surface air temperatures hit an average of 16.38°C (61.4°F) in the past month.

This smashes the record for the previous hottest September – 2020 – by a wide margin of 0.5°C (0.9°F).

September’s average temperature was nearly one whole degree (0.93°C/1.67°F) above the 1991-2020 average for the month.

But going further back, the gulf widens, with September 1.4°C (2.5°F) higher than the average recorded between 1850-1900.

Last month was Earth’s hottest September ever, data reveals. Pictured: Brighton Beach on 10 September, when temperatures hit 30C

The average surface air temperature was 16.38°C – 0.93°C above the 1991-2020 average for September and 0.5°C above the temperature of the previous warmest September, in 2020

READ MORE: Last month was Britain’s joint hottest September EVER

Scientists said that September was also 0.05°C (0.09°F) hotter than September 2016, the warmest calendar year on record.

The average sea surface temperature for September over 60°S–60°N reached 20.92°C (69.6°F), the highest on record for September and the second highest across all months, behind August 2023.

Climate change and the weather phenomenon known as El Nino share responsibility for pushing up temperatures, Copernicus said.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said: ‘The unprecedented temperatures for the time of year observed in September – following a record summer – have broken records by an extraordinary amount.

‘This extreme month has pushed 2023 into the dubious honour of first place – on track to be the warmest year and around 1.4°C above preindustrial average temperatures. 

‘Two months out from COP28 [the UN climate change conference]– the sense of urgency for ambitious climate action has never been more critical.’

For January to September 2023, the global mean temperature for 2023 to date is 1.40°C higher than the preindustrial average (1850-1900)

Last month, huge parts of Indonesia were gripped by haze and smog caused by huge forest fires

The Met Office reported earlier this week that September 2023 in the UK was the joint hottest on record, with 2006.

Copernicus said that as well as high temperatures, Antarctic sea ice extent had retreated to a record low level for the time of year, around nine per cent below average.

Meanwhile at the Arctic, the sea ice extent was at its fifth lowest at 18 per cent below average.

Summer 2023 worldwide has already been the hottest ever recorded. Scientists say that unless the remaining months of the year are exceptionally cold, 2023 will break the record for the hottest year ever.

While the warmest eight years recorded have all been since 2015, the Earth’s record cold year was in 1904.

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