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Hottest September Ever Keeps Earth on Pace for Record Year

September brought more record heat globally, and meteorologists say Earth is now on pace to tie for the hottest year ever recorded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that last month the globe averaged 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit (15.7 Celsius). That was the hottest September in 135 years of record keeping. It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August. NASA, which measures temperatures slightly differently, had already determined that September was record-warm.

The first nine months of 2014 have a global average temperature of 58.72 degrees (14.78 degrees Celsius), tying with 1998 for the warmest first nine months on record, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. "It's pretty likely" that 2014 will break the record for hottest year, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. The record-breaking heat goes back to the end of last year — November 2013 broke a record. So the 12 months from October 2013 to September 2014 are the hottest 12-month period on record, Blunden said. Earth hasn't set a monthly record for cold since December 1916, but all monthly heat records have been set after 1997.

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— The Associated Press