The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces this summer was the warmest since records began in 1880, according to a new report released by NOAA. August alone saw several record-breaking climate anomalies worldwide. If this trend continues, 2014 will be the warmest year ever recorded.
Among the various climate anomalies (see map below):
- Japan experienced its wettest August since national records began in 1946.
- 32% of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, with conditions worsening in parts of Texas and the Southeast.
- Arctic 2014 sea ice extent was 13.8% below the 1981-2010 average; the seventh smallest August sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.
- France received more than 140% of average rainfall during June-August. This marked one of the 10 wettest summers since national records began in 1959.
Temperature data not only from this year but from recent decades continue to indicate a definite warming trend. Last month marked the 38th consecutive August, and the 354th consecutive month, with an average temperature above the 20th century average.