August 2023 was the hottest August in NOAA’s 174-year record

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
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It was both the warmest summer in the northern hemisphere and the warmest winter in the southern hemisphere on record in the history of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracking temperatures.

According to a report from NOAA released Thursday, in the 20th century, the average global and ocean surface temperature was 60.1 degrees Fahrenheit in August, according to an analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

However, in August 2023, the average temperature rose by 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit. That 2.25-degree difference was enough to make August 2023 the warmest August in the 174-year global climate record.

Selected significant climate anomalies and events: August 2023. CREDIT: NOAA

“This analysis highlights the suite of climate services provided by NOAA, which informs a climate-ready nation,” said NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Sarah Kapnick. “Not only was last month the warmest August on record by quite a lot, it was also the globe’s 45th-consecutive August and the 534th-consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average. Global marine heat waves and a growing El Niño are driving additional warming this year, but as long as emissions continue driving a steady march of background warming, we expect further records to be broken in the years to come.”

NASA, meanwhile posted a tweet Thursday illustrating the shifts in temperature since 1880, which show a stark climb upward.

Moreover, in August of 2023, the sea surface temperature reached 1.85 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal. This was enough to become the record for any month’s highest monthly sea surface temperature anomaly in NOAA’s climate record.

Click here to read NOAA’s full report.

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