Globally last month was the hottest October on record

Can’t run from the heat.
Can’t run from the heat.
Image: Reuters/Bruno Kelly
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If you thought last month seemed unusually hot for October, you weren’t imagining things. Globally, it was the hottest October on record, according to information released on Nov. 18 by NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was also the greatest above-average departure from the average for any month.

Feel like you’ve read this before? You might be thinking of a similar article we ran last month—about September being the hottest September since NOAA began collecting records in 1880. In fact, reports NOAA, every month this year other than January and April has been the hottest on record.

The October average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, according to the agency. This wasn’t only the hottest October on average; it was the highest departure from the average for any month since 1880—that’s 1,630 months of record-keeping. The next highest departure from the average was last month’s. Cumulatively, the year so far has been 0.12°C (0.22°F) hotter than any other on record.

Since not all areas of the planet are equally warm, NOAA also released a map of temperature variations broken down by region, for the period of January to October.

Getting toasty.
Getting toasty.
Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration