The planet just recorded its hottest September since at least 1880, according to three of the authoritative temperature-tracking agencies in the world, reports Andrew Freedman in an article for The Washington Post.
The data, most of which was released Wednesday, shows that 2020 is on track to be one of the hottest years on record, with the possibility of tying or breaking the milestone for the hottest year, set in 2016.
In addition, 2020 is likely to be the hottest year when a La Niña event was present in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This climate phenomenon is characterized by cooler-than-average ocean temperatures near the equator in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, and it tends to lower global temperatures slightly. (El Niño events, on the other hand, add even more heat to the planet, causing temperature spikes on top of global warming.)
These trends are all consistent with rapid global warming driven primarily by human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average global temperature in September was 1.75 degrees (0.97 Celsius) above the 20th-century average, surpassing previous records for the month that were set in 2015 and 2016 by about 0.04 degrees (0.02 Celsius).
The 10 warmest Septembers have occurred since 2005, and the seven warmest Septembers have occurred in the past seven years, NOAA stated in a news release.
Source: The Washington Post. Read the full article here