2020 Just Saw The Hottest September On Record

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September 2020 has been officially declared the hottest September ever recorded by scientists.

Experts at the Copernicus Climate Change Service have announced that ‘the month was 0.05°C warmer than 2019 and 0.08°C warmer than 2016; previously the warmest and second-warmest Septembers on record’.


It continues the trend whereby every month in 2020 has consistently ranked in the top four hottest of that month since the Copernicus Climate Change Service’s records began in 1979.

Copernicus recordsCopernicus Climate Change Service

The month also played host to some unusual weather events, such as the West Coast wildfires in the US, and this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season also kicked-off with a tremendously gusty hurricane across the Americas.

The famously chilly Russian region of Siberia also recorded unusually warm temperatures earlier this year throughout its winter and spring. Temperatures were notably increased in May, which saw a rise of up to 10°C, the scientists noted, adding that the increase continued well into the summer months too.


The average June temperature for the whole of Arctic Siberia [was] more than 5°C higher than the 1981-2010 average and a station-based record daily maximum temperature of 38°C.

The scientists also said that 2020 is currently on course to globally become the hottest year. The current warmest year on record is 2016, and even if 2020 doesn’t quite reach 2016’s sweaty heights, it will have a good chance of coming second – providing the remaining two-and-a-bit months aren’t uncharacteristically Baltic.

Copernicus recordsCopernicus Climate Change Service

The Arctic Circle Reached 48°C On The First Day Of Summer

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This year is on course to 2019, which is currently the second-warmest year on record, and whether it does better last year’s figures will depend on the predictable weather events of the next three months.

La Niña is one of these weather events that will influence the rankings this year. It’s a climate pattern that describes the cooling of surface ocean waters along the tropical west coast of South America, and is the counterpart of El Niño, which refers to the unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator.

The Copernicus scientists also note that sea ice extent – oceans with at least some ice – also drooped to the second-lowest value on record. While this is still bad news for the global climate, as it is caused by and contributes to global warming, the September warmth isn’t entirely to blame.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service said:


However, this is not totally unexpected, as sea ice extent has been declining for several decades, and September is the month that tends to show the lowest values for the year. In addition, the Siberian Arctic has continued to be anomalously warm throughout 2020, with weather patterns responsible for the warmth over Siberia also leading to a reduction in sea ice cover further north.

Climate change photography competitionJam Press

And for those of you questioning the figures because records only began in 1979, the scientists said that despite the relatively recent recording of climate data, ‘most of these statements about warm months and years are highly likely to be valid for the whole of the industrial era’.

This is because there has been a global trend towards warmer surface air temperatures since 1979, so it’s unlikely things were any warmer before that point.


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