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 2016

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Note: With this report and data release, the National Centers for Environmental Information is transitioning to improved versions of its global land (GHCN-M version 3.3.0) and ocean (ERSST version 4.0.0) datasets. Please note that anomalies and ranks reflect the historical record according to these updated versions. Historical months and years may differ from what was reported in previous reports. For more, please visit the associated FAQ and supplemental information.


Last month tied as third warmest October on record for the globe

Year-to-date remains record warm


Global highlights: October 2016

  • The October temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.31°F above the 20th century average of 57.1°F. This tied with 2003 as third highest for October in the 1880–2016 record. This October was 0.47°F cooler than the record warmth of October 2015 when El Niño conditions were strengthening. The October 2016 departure from average was also 0.90°F cooler than the all-time record warmth of March 2016 when the El Niño was near the end of its peak.
  • The October globally averaged land surface temperature was 1.37°F above the 20th century average of 48.7°F. This value was the 16th highest October land global temperature in the 1880–2016 record.
  • The October globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.30°F above the 20th century monthly average of 60.6°F. This value was the second highest global ocean temperature for October in the 1880–2016 record, 0.25°F lower than the record warmth of October 2015.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2016 was 980,000 square miles (28.5 percent) below the 1981–2010 average, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA. This was the smallest October extent since records began in 1979; the footprint of "missing" ice was larger than the combined size of Alaska and Texas. Sea ice growth was abnormally slow during the first half of October. By month's end, daily sea ice extent values were record low.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent during October 2016 was 290,000 square miles (4.0 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the second smallest Antarctic sea ice extent on record for October, behind only 1986.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–October 2016)

  • The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.75°F above the 20th century average of 57.4°F. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.18°F.
  • The year-to-date globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.66°F above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2016 record, exceeding the previous record of 2015 by 0.34°F.
  • The year-to-date globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.39°F above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2016, surpassing the previous record of 2015 by 0.09°F.
  • For extended analysis of global temperature and precipitation patterns, please see our full October report.