NOAA: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest
Tenth Warmest August Since Records Began
September 16, 2008
The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was the ninth warmest since records began in 1880, and this August was the tenth warmest, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Summer (June – August) Highlights
- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was 0.85 degrees F (0.47 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C).
- Separately, the global land surface temperature for the summer was 1.12 degrees F (0.62 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 56.9 degrees F (13.8 degrees C).
- The global ocean surface temperature for summer ranked ninth warmest on record and was 0.74 degrees F (0.41 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 61.5 degrees F (16.4 degrees C).
- The August 2008 combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.79 degrees F (0.44 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C) and tied with 1995 for the tenth warmest August on record.
- The global land surface temperature for August was 0.88 degrees F (0.49 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 56.9 degrees F (13.8 degrees C).
- The global ocean surface temperature for August was 0.77 degrees F (0.43 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 61.4 degrees F (16.4 degrees C), which tied for seventh warmest August with 2001.
- El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continued in August, and are expected to last through the end of 2008, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
- Arctic sea ice extent at the end of August was at its second lowest extent on record according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice declined by a record rate in August, decreasing by 950,000 square miles (2.47 million square kilometers) between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3. The current extent is 800,000 square miles (2.08 million square kilometers) below the 1979 – 2000 average.
- Tropical Storm Fay struck the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands between August 15 – 17, claiming 23 lives across the Caribbean. Hurricane Gustav affected the same countries August 24 – 31, claiming an estimated 95 lives in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Tropical Storm Kammuri struck southern China on August 6, bringing torrential rains to Hong Kong. Rain from Kammuri caused 120 deaths in northern Vietnam. On Aug. 20, Typhoon Nuri made landfall in the Philippines and killed seven people.
- In southern India, heavy monsoon rains killed 99 people, while in northern India flash flooding claimed 74 lives and left about 50,000 people homeless. Varanasi, India received 11.5 inches (292.1 mm) of rain in just 24 hours. Torrential downpours claimed 27 lives in northwestern Pakistan during the first week of August. In Laos, heavy monsoon rains raised the Mekong River to its highest recorded level of 44.88 feet (13.68 m). Also in August, extensive flooding affected China, Japan, Mexico, and Great Britain.
- On Aug. 17, Eyre in Western Australia registered a low temperature of -7.2 degrees C (19 degrees F), setting the record for the all-time lowest temperature for that Australian state, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
- Severe storms over northern France on Aug. 4 spawned a tornado that killed three people in the town of Hautmont. Another tornado hit Mykanów, Poland, on Aug. 15, killing three and injuring 37.
- Moderate-to-severe drought impacted northern parts of China during August, according to the Beijing Climate Center. Below-average August rainfall over parts of eastern and southern Australia worsened drought conditions in those areas. Parts of southwest Australia experienced their lowest August rainfall since records began there in 1900.
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