This year is on track to be the hottest on record, with September registering the highest temperatures ever recorded for the month, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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The figures confirm a trend of record-breaking months for 2014, which saw an exceptionally warm spring and summer worldwide. September was also found to be the driest ever for the UK, with less than 20 mm of rain according to the Met Office.
July, June and May were also among the warmest and sunniest since records began in 1910.
Combined land and sea average surface temperatures were recorded as 0.68C above the 20th century average of 14.1C, meaning 2014 is on track to reach and surpass 1998 and 2010 as the warmest year. The UK and Australia were among the countries that registered record warmth.
NOAA said in a statement, “This is the third time in 2014 this all-time monthly high temperature record has been broken. Record warmth was observed in parts of every major ocean basin, particularly notable in the north-eastern and equatorial Pacific Ocean.
“The average global sea surface temperature was the highest for January–September in the 135-year period of record, while the average land surface temperature was the sixth highest on record.”
Scientists have linked rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere from human activities to increasing temperatures worldwide, and have noted that all the hottest years registered so far occurred after 2000. The UN also revealed that 13 of the 14 warmest years on record took place in the 21st century.
The UK’s Met Office said earlier this month that as effects of climate change intensify, heatwaves would become ‘normal’ in the UK by 2040.
Photo: Lauren Tucker via flickr