The Planet Just Had Its Hottest September On Record

NASA temperature data plotted by @thingsbreak
NASA temperature data plotted by @thingsbreak

Last month was the warmest September globally since records began being kept in 1880, NASA reported Sunday. January through September data have 2014 already at the third warmest on record. Projections by NOAA make clear 2014 is taking aim at hottest year on record.

Remarkably, this September record occurred even though we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño, which reveals just how strong the underlying trend of human-caused warming is. It’s usually the combination of the long-term manmade warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.

In this country, temperatures were quite hot in the West, and just “normal” or very close to the 1951–1980 average in the East, as this NASA chart shows:

For the second month in a row, it was so hot over West Antarctica, that NASA had to put in the color brown to cover the 4°C to 8.7°C (7°F to over 15°F!) anomalous warmth. But given how far away the South Pole is, why should we get concerned about it when D.C. is having such a pleasant fall? Sure, recent studies have found that the huge glaciers in the West Antarctic ice sheet “have begun the process of irreversible collapse,” but it’s not like “many of the world’s coastal cities would eventually have to be abandoned” if that keeps up, is it?