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Assessing the Global Climate in August 2017

Globe had its third warmest August and second warmest year to date

Courtesy of Pixabay.com

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2017 was the third highest for the month of August in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The June–August seasonal global temperature was also third highest on record, while the year-to-date global temperature was second warmest in the 138-year record.

This monthly summary, developed by scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia, and the public to support informed decision-making.

August 2017 Temperature

  • The August temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.49°F above the 20th century average of 60.1°F. This was the third highest for August in the 1880–2017 record, behind 2016 (highest) and 2015 (second highest). August 2017 marks the 41st consecutive August and the 392nd consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average.
  • The August globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.11°F above the 20th century average of 56.9°F and the second highest August land global temperature in the 138-year record, trailing behind the record year 2016.
  • The August globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28°F above the 20th century monthly average of 61.4°F—the fourth highest global ocean temperature for August in the record.

August 2017 Sea Ice

  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for August was 683,000 square miles (24.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the third smallest August sea ice extent since records began in 1979, according to an analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center based on data from NOAA and NASA.
  • The Antarctic sea ice extent for August was 250,000 square miles (3.6 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the second smallest August Antarctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979, behind 2002.

Seasonal (June–August 2017)

  • The June–August average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F above the 20th century average of 60.1°F. This was the third highest for June–August in the 1880–2017 record, behind 2016 (highest) and 2015 (second highest).
    • The Northern Hemisphere global land and ocean temperature during summer 2017 was 1.76°F above average and the third highest summer temperature on record. Similarly, the Southern Hemisphere global land and ocean temperature during winter 2017 tied with 2009 as the third highest on record at 1.17°F above average.
  • The globally averaged land surface temperature for June–August 2017 was 2.07°F above the 20th century average of 56.9°F. This was the second highest for June–August in the 138-year record, behind 2016.
  • The June–August globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.24°F above the 20th century average of 61.5°F—the fourth highest for June–August in the record.

Year-to-Date (January–August 2017)

  • The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F above the 20th century average of 57.3°F. This was the second highest for January–August in the 1880–2017 record, behind the record year 2016.
  • The year-to-date globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.50°F above the 20th century average of 48.1°F. This was also the second highest for January–August in the record, behind 2016.
  • The year-to-date globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.24°F above the 20th century average of 61.1°F. This value tied with 2015 as the second highest for January–August in the 138-year record, trailing behind the record year 2016.

For  a more complete summary of climate conditions and events, see our August 2017 Global Climate Report.