It’s been a remarkably steamy, record-setting last three months for Mother Earth.
Not only was August 2020 the second-warmest August on record, but the Northern Hemisphere had its warmest summer, and the globe as a whole had its third-hottest three-month period.
According to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, the average global land and ocean surface temperature in August was 1.69 degrees F (0.94 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C), making it the second-hottest August in the 141-year record, behind August 2016.
The Northern Hemisphere had its hottest August on record with a temperature departure from average of 2.14 degrees F (1.19 degrees C), besting the previous record set in August 2016.
Globally, the 10 warmest Augusts have all occurred since 1998 — with the five warmest occurring since 2015.
The 3-month season from June through August 2020 was the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest meteorological summer on record, surpassing both 2019 and 2016 which were previously tied for hottest.
This period, which also marks the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, was Earth’s third warmest in the 141-year record at 1.66 degrees F (0.92 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average.
Globally, the YTD (January through August) ranked as 2nd hottest recorded, at 1.85 degrees F (1.03 degrees C) above the 20th-century average of 57.3 degrees F (14.0 degrees C) — just behind the record set in 2016. The Northern Hemisphere’s YTD tied with 2016 as the hottest since global records began in 1880.
According to a statistical analysis done by NCEI scientists, 2020 is very likely to rank among the five-warmest years on record.