Earth’s Warmest October On Record Continues Journey To Its Hottest Year, New Report Says

By Jonathan Erdman

Climate Change Service (C3S), October’s globally averaged temperature was about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. That may not sound like much, but as the graph constructed by Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider below shows, it was the warmest October in this ERA5 dataset by a large margin over the previous record from 2019.

Globally averaged temperature data is synthesized from measurements taken by weather stations, ships, aircraft and satellites.

T​he warmth was widespread. To set a global monthly record, warmth had to be both extreme and widespread, and that was the case in October.

O​ctober was record warm in Africa and Asia, according to Brettschneider, and in parts of the Balkans, Italy, northern and eastern Canada, according to C3S. Ocean temperatures also remained markedly warmer than any previous year on record, the C3S report stated.

Anomalous warmth was also in place in the northeast U.S., the Caribbean Sea, northern two-thirds of South America and western Australia, according to a map Brettschneider posted on X below. The increasingly strong El Niño can also be seen on the map as a tongue of warm water extending west from South America.

Parts of central Australia, southern Chile and Argentina, the northern Rockies, Scandinavia and far northwest Russia were among the few areas cooler than average. Norway had its coldest October in 14 years, according to C3S.

2​023 will be hottest year on record. October was the fifth consecutive month in which the planet set a record. This past July was Earth’s hottest single month in records dating to 1850, according to NOAA. August was the planet’s second hottest month all time, according to C3S. September was the most above-average month of any single month in multiple databases, including C3S and NOAA. Now, October came in as the second most anomalously warm month, behind only September.

Four of the other five months in 2023 were at least in the top four warmest respective month. Only January – seventh warmest – was out of the top five warmest Januaries, globally.

Unsurprisingly, 2023 is clearly the front runner for warmest year on record, as the graph below from climate scientist John Kennedy shows. The C3S report said 2023 is currently about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than January-October 2016, the warmest year on record. NOAA’s September global climate report calculated a greater than 99.5% chance of a record warmest year through September.

T​he first 10 months of the year were estimated by C3S to be almost 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average. That’s already close to the limit of a 2.7 degree (1.5 degrees Celsius) increase specified in the U.N. IPCC Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 to avoid more severe impacts from climate change.

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