- In September 2023, an average surface air temperature of 16.38°C was recorded.
- This officially makes last month the hottest September on record.
Last month was the hottest September ever recorded on Earth, data reveals, and meteorologists say 2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record
Copernicus, the EU’s climate change body, said surface air temperatures reached an average of 16.38°C (61.4°F) over the past month.
This breaks the record for the previous warmest September, 2020, by a wide margin of 0.5°C (0.9°F).
September’s average temperature was almost a full degree (0.93°C/1.67°F) above the average for the month from 1991-2020.
But if we go back further, the gulf widens: September is 1.4°C (2.5°F) higher than the average recorded between 1850-1900.
Last month was the hottest September ever recorded on Earth, data reveals. Pictured: Brighton Beach on September 10, when temperatures reached 30°C
The average surface air temperature was 16.38°C, 0.93°C above the 1991-2020 average for September and 0.5°C above the temperature of the previous warmest September, in 2020.
Scientists said September was also 0.05°C (0.09°F) warmer than September 2016, the warmest calendar year on record.
The average sea surface temperature in September between 60°S and 60°N reached 20.92°C (69.6°F), the highest recorded in September and the second highest of all months, behind August 2023.
Climate change and the meteorological phenomenon known as El Niño share responsibility for raising temperatures, Copernicus said.
Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said: “The unprecedented temperatures for the time of year seen in September, following a record summer, have broken records by an extraordinary amount.
‘This extreme month has propelled 2023 to the dubious honor of first place: on track to be the warmest year and around 1.4°C above pre-industrial average temperatures.
‘Two months before COP28 [the UN climate change conference]– the sense of urgency for ambitious climate action has never been more critical.’
From January to September 2023, the global average temperature from 2023 to date is 1.40°C higher than the pre-industrial average (1850-1900)
Last month, large areas of Indonesia were affected by haze and smog caused by massive forest fires.
The Met Office reported earlier this week that September 2023 in the UK was the hottest on record, along with 2006.
Copernicus said that, in addition to high temperatures, the extent of Antarctic sea ice had shrunk to a record level for the time of year, around nine percent below average.
Meanwhile, in the Arctic, sea ice extent was at its fifth lowest level, 18 percent below average.
The summer of 2023 around the world has already been the hottest ever recorded. Scientists say that unless the remaining months of the year are exceptionally cold, 2023 will break the record for the hottest year on record.
While the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2015, Earth’s coldest year was 1904.