Climate Change

Earth just had its 5th-warmest September on record

Likelihood of 2022 being one of the ten warmest years on record is greater than 99 per cent

By Arya Rohini
Published: Monday 17 October 2022
Temperatures in North America broke records by 0.30°C, surpassing the previous record set in 2019. Photo: iStock

September 2022 marked the fifth-warmest September in 143 years, tying with the same in 2021, according to the United states’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The tropics also warmed up, with more tropical cyclones spinning around the globe. The average temperature across the world was 0.88 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average of 15°C, making September 2021 the fifth-warmest since 1880.

Temperatures in North America broke records by 0.3°C, surpassing the previous record set in 2019, the scientists from the country’s weather forecaster stated. Asia and Africa experienced their fifth and sixth-warmest Septembers, respectively.

South America and Europe experienced their coolest Septembers since 2013 despite having above-average temperatures. The past month recorded the 46th consecutive September and the 453rd-consecutive month with temperatures exceeding the 20th-century average.

Source: NOAA

The likelihood of 2022 being one of the ten warmest years on record is greater than 99 per cent, according to the NOAA.

The sea ice extent (covering) in September 2022 was the eighth-lowest September extent on record. The average Arctic sea ice area last month was 1.88 million square miles. This coverage is on a par with September 2010 and is the 11th-smallest September extent in the 44-year record. This is about 595,000 square miles less than the 1981–2010 average.

Antarctica’s sea ice extent in September, at 6.95 million square miles, was 190,000 square miles below average and the fifth-smallest on record.

There were 20 named storms in September, which was above average. Twelve of those storms had wind speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) or more, making them tropical cyclones. And six of those storms were major tropical cyclones with wind speeds of 111 mph or higher.

August had no hurricanes or tropical storms, but September brought six named storms to the Atlantic basin. Four of them developed into hurricanes, including two major hurricanes, Fiona and Ian.

The tropical cyclonic activity was also above average in the eastern and western Pacific basins throughout the month.

Super Typhoon Noru, the second Category 5 tropical cyclone of 2022, swiftly strengthened before making landfall in the northern Philippines as a Category 4 storm.

Parts of the Caribbean, the southeast United States, central Europe, northern and southern Asia and parts of Australia experienced above-average precipitation. There were wetter-than-average conditions in some parts of Africa. Heavy rains in Nigeria, Uganda and Senegal caused catastrophic floods and landslides.

Devastating floods in the Caribbean, central America, Mexico, the southeastern United States, eastern Asia and eastern Canada were caused by tropical cyclones. In the meantime, southern South America and eastern Asia experienced drier-than-average weather.

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