Summary Information

The State of the Climate Summary Information is a synopsis of the collection of national and global summaries released each month.


Global Summary Information - October 2015

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October 2015 was warmest on record for the globe and greatest above-average departure from average for any month

Year-to-date also continues to be record warm


Global highlights: October 2015

  • The October average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.36°F (0.20°C), and marked the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken. This record departure from average was also the highest on record for any month, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.13°F (0.07°C).
  • The October globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39°F (1.33°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The October globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for October in the 1880–2015 record surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.27°F (0.15°C). This was also the highest departure from average for any of the 1630 months of recordkeeping, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2015 was 460,000 square miles (13.4 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth smallest October extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent during October 2015 was 90,000 square miles (1.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the 14th largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record. On October 6th, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its annual maximum extent at 7.24 million square miles, slightly above average and in contrast to the past three years when record large maximum sea ice extents were observed.
  • According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was 1.49 million square miles above the 1981–2010 average and the seventh largest in the 48-year period of record. Eurasia had its sixth largest October snow cover extent, while North America had its 11th largest.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–October 2015)

  • The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.55°F (0.86°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C). Eight of the first ten months in 2015 have been record warm for their respective months.
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged land surface temperature was also the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record at 2.30°F (1.28°C) above the 20th century average. This value surpassed the previous record of 2007 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the 20th century average and the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record. This value surpassed the previous record of 2014 by +0.14°F (+0.08°C).
  • For extended analysis of global temperature and precipitation patterns, please see our full October report