NOAA: Warmest Global Sea-Surface Temperatures for August and Summer

September 16, 2009

East-west hemisphere anomaly.

Global surface temperature anomalies for the month of August 2009. Temperature is compared to the average global temperature from 1961-1990.

Visualization of world’s land and ocean surface temperature.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The world’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August (Northern Hemisphere summer/Southern Hemisphere winter) season according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The preliminary analysis is based on records dating back to 1880.

NCDC scientists also reported that the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for August was second warmest on record, behind 1998. For the June-August 2009 season, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was third warmest on record.

Global Highlights – Summer

Global Highlights – August

Other Notable Developments


Current sea ice extent as measured by NOAA's GOES, POES, and DMSP satellites.

Visualization of Arctic sea ice extent.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Watch NOAA's visualization of the world’s land and ocean surface temperature.

Watch NOAA's visualization of the Arctic sea ice extent.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the oceans to surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.