According to a new report by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the first ten months of 2014 have been the warmest since record keeping began more than 130 years ago. NOAA reports that the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January-October period was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). For October, it was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F).
The high October temperature was driven by warmth across the globe over both the land and ocean surfaces, says NOAA, and was fairly evenly distributed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Southern Hemisphere had its hottest October on record and the Northern Hemisphere its third warmest.
October marked the third consecutive month and fifth of the past six with a record high global temperature for its respective month (July was fourth highest).
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.