August 2015 the warmest month on record

In a Global Summary for August 2015 the NOAA says that August 2015 was the warmest month on record (world wide but certainly not in New Zealand).

  • Global average temperature record high for August
  • Global average temperature record high June–Augus
  • Global average temperature record high January–August

Separately, global oceans and global land were both highest on record for these periods of time.

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2015 was the warmest August on record, 1.58°F (0.88°C) warmer than the 20th century average, and surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.16°F (0.09°C).

August 2015 tied with January 2007 as the third warmest monthly highest departure from average for any month since record keeping began in 1880.

The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for January–August was also record warm.

  • The August average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 20th century average—the warmest August on record, surpassing the previous record by +0.16°F (+0.09°C). This was the sixth month in 2015 that has broken its monthly temperature record (February, March, May, June, July, and August).
  • The August globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.05°F (1.14°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for August in the 1880–2015 record, besting the previous record set in 1998 by +0.23°F (+0.13°C). Record warmth was observed across much of South America and parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
  • The August globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.40°F (0.78°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for any month in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in July 2015 2014 by +0.07°F (+0.04°C). Large portions of the seven seas (where temperature records are available) recorded much-warmer-than-average temperatures, with some locations across all oceans experiencing record warmth.
  • El Niño conditions were present across the tropical Pacific Ocean during August 2015. According to analysis by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015/16.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for August 2015 was 620,000 square miles (22.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fourth smallest August extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent during August 2015 was 30,000 square miles (0.5 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This marks a shift from recent years when Antarctic sea ice extent was record and near-record large. This is the first month since November 2011 that the Antarctic sea ice extent was below average.
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  1. Mike C

     /  18th September 2015


    If those stats are true … then the world has something to worry about.

    But if they aren’t … then I guess we don’t.

  2. rayinnz

     /  18th September 2015

    Well, NZ is on the cusp of average/warmer on the chart while in the real world we have had our coldest winter in decades, got to make you wonder about the accuracy

    • New Zealand is only a small part of the world. We are having a cooler than normal winter and spring due to the El Nino effect, which is caused by warmer water than usual in the east Pacific.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th September 2015

    Meanwhile back in the real world of unadjusted satellite data, things don’t look so scary at all:

  4. Brown

     /  18th September 2015

    Lies, lies and statistics.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th September 2015

    This is a pretty good survey of the climate model uncertainties:

    Anyone who bet a cent on their predictions would be a total sucker.

  6. Grumpy

     /  18th September 2015

    Meanwhile, back in the real world…..NOAA shown up to be complete fraud!
    You do yourself no favors by uncritically repeating this garbage.

    • ‘Steven Goddard’ is Tony Heller. He has a BS in geology and a masters in electrical engineering, so not as qualified on climate as one or two at NOAA.

      Claims of NASA manipulation of temperature data[edit]
      In June 2014, Goddard attracted considerable media attention for his claims that NASA had manipulated temperature data to make it appear that 1998 was the hottest year in United States history. In fact, he claimed, it was 1934, but NASA had started incorrectly citing 1998 as the hottest year beginning in 2000. Goddard had been promoting these claims for years before this, including in a chapter of a book by Don Easterbrook, but the mainstream media had not paid significant attention to it before then. Those who promoted the claim included Christopher Booker, in a June 21 article in the Daily Telegraph, and Fox News Channel host Steve Doocy three days later in a Fox and Friends segment.

      The claim was dismissed by, which rated it as “pants on fire”—its lowest possible rating. Politifact contacted Berkeley Earth energy systems analyst and environmental economist Zeke Hausfather, who told them that the problem with Goddard’s analysis was that it ignored the changes the network of U.S. weather stations had undergone over the last eighty years. Goddard’s claims were also criticized by fellow climate skeptic Anthony Watts, who argued that his assertions of data fabrication were “wrong”, and criticized him for using absolute temperatures rather than anomalies in his analysis.

      In a response to Politifact on his blog, Goddard argued that while NASA has official reasons for the adjustments they make to temperature data, “their adjustments are highly subjective, and are subject to software and algorithm errors. Politifact’s claim is the result of a failure to understand the topic, for the following reasons. There is no question that the temperature record has been dramatically altered, to turn a long term cooling trend into a long term warming trend. No one disputes this. Anthony Watts was discussing a different specific topic related to missing station data, and has since admitted he was wrong. If you actually contact him, you will find that out.”

      Noted global warming skeptic Judith Curry characterized Goddard’s analysis of NASA’s data as “bogus.”

      Take from that what you like.

    • mmm Who to believe?
      Every single reputable scientific institution in the world citing evidence to support a provable hypothesis (i.e. that atmospheric carbon will retain heat).
      Or some guy on the internet, claiming that all these institutions are running a global conspiracy to concoct fraudulent evidence (for some unknown purpose)?
      It must be a difficult choice for some people.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th September 2015

        But the question at issue is how much extra heat and whether it matters. That is the tough one to which we don’t know the answer – unless you are ignorant enough to believe otherwise.

  7. DaveG

     /  18th September 2015

    We have had the driest 7 months on record here in Nth QLD, under 40 mm of rain, and for th erolling 12months its only 339 mm, the lowest on record by a whopping 80 MM. BUT, all the proper scientists here, just say its another El-Nino.

  8. Grumpy

     /  19th September 2015

    ….and Sydney has just had its coldest winter…….

    • Regional and seasonal temperatures will obviously vary – and one of the predictions of climate change is greater extremes of temperature and weather.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th September 2015

        There are so many predictions of “climate science” that it is unfalsifiable – every conceivable outcome is predicted. Personally, I think the predictions with greatest credibility are simply linear extrapolations of current trends. And those are modest.


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