NOAA: October Ranked 8th Warmest on Record
Posted on December 10, 2010
October ranked the eighth warmest October on record. The first 10 months of 2010 tied with the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record. The global average land surface temperature for January–October was the second warmest on record behind 2007. The global ocean surface temperature for January–October tied with 2003 as the second warmest on record behind 1998. La Nina continues to be a significant factor in global ocean temperatures.
The monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, which is based on records going back to 1880, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.
Global Temperature Highlights
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for October 2010 was the eighth warmest on record at 58.07 F (14.54 C), which is 0.97 F (0.54 C) above the 20th century average of 57.1 F (14.0 C). The range associated with the combined temperature is +/- 0.14 F (0.08 C).*
- The October worldwide land surface temperature was 1.64 F (0.91 C) above the 20th century average of 48.7 F (9.3 C) — the sixth warmest October on record. Warmer-than-average conditions were particularly felt across western Alaska, Canada, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, Kazakhstan and large portions of Russia. Cooler-than-average regions included most of Europe, Mongolia and much of Australia. The range associated with the land surface temperature is +/- 0.20 F (0.11 C).
- According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia had its 10th coolest maximum temperatures on record for October with daytime maximum temperatures 2.12 F (1.18 C) below average. Statewide, both the Northern Territory and Queensland had their third coolest maximum temperatures since national records began in 1950.
- The October worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.72 F (0.40 C) above the 20th century average of 60.6 F (15.9 C) and was the 10th warmest October on record. The warmth was most pronounced across the Atlantic, western North Pacific and most of the Indian Ocean. The range associated with the ocean surface temperature is +/- 0.13 F (0.07 C).
- For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 58.53 F (14.73 C) was tied with 1998 as the warmest January–October period on record. This value is 1.13 F (0.63 C) above the 20th century average.
- Moderate La Niña conditions continued in October, while sea surface temperatures remained below-normal across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to strengthen and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2011.
Polar Sea Ice and Precipitation Highlights
- The average Arctic sea ice extent for October was 2.97 million square miles (7.69 million square km), which was 17.2 percent below average. This marks the third lowest October Arctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979 and the 14th consecutive October with below-average Arctic sea ice extent.
- Antarctic sea ice began its annual retreat during October. October 2010 was the fourth largest sea ice extent on record (2.9 percent above average). The largest October sea ice extent occurred in 2006.
- According to Mexico’s National Weather Service (Servicio Meteorolológico Nacional), this October was Mexico’s driest since 1941.
- North and west Amazonia in Brazil was in the midst of its worst drought in the past 40 years. In October, one of the Amazon River’s most important tributaries, the Black River, dropped to its lowest level of 44.7 feet (13.6 meters) since record keeping began in 1902.
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* New information in this report: Based on requests from our users, NOAA is now making it easier to find information in its global State of the Climate report about ranges of uncertainty (“range”) associated with its global temperature calculations. NCDC previously displayed this information in certain graphics associated with the report, but it will now publish these ranges in the form of “plus or minus” values associated with each monthly temperature calculation. These values are calculated using techniques published in peer-reviewed scientific literature.