Study Finds Last Month the Hottest September on Record

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer

The Copernicus Climate Change Service announced that last month was the warmest September on record for the United States and Europe, surpassing the record set a year ago. They also found that Northern Siberia, Western Australia, the Middle East, and parts of South America had hotter-than-average Septembers.  According to the announcement, last month was 0.05 degrees Celsius warmer than last year, and 0.63 degrees Celsius warmer than the average September over the past 40 years.

Why this matters:  2019 was the second-hottest year ever, which finished off the hottest decade worldwide, and six of the warmest years ever occurred in the last decade.  

Moreover, the warmer, drier conditions have sparked a devastating wildfire season on the West Coast, and a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season.

Will this be the hottest year on record?

Copernicus’ estimates suggest that 2020 looks to at least match 2016, which is the warmest calendar year ever.  However, whether 2020 will surpass 2016 depends on whether a La Niña event occurs in the last few months of the year. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the appearance of a La Niña event—and the Copernicus report confirmed this conclusion, finding cooler temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, a sign of La Niña.  La Niña on average cools the planet, so this would be a positive development in preventing further warming.

The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, found that the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030.  This record heat is further evidence that our ability to reign in climate change is slipping away.

Hurricane Delta

Last night, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for parts of the Texas coast, eastward to Grand Isle, Louisiana, and a storm surge watch is in effect all the way to the Alabama-Florida border, CNN reports.  The path of this storm is, according to meteorologists, looking very similar to the track of Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on August 27, though it might not be as strong when it makes landfall. Hurricane Laura killed 15, and left hundreds of thousands without power, and destroyed more than 10,000 homes in southwest Louisiana.  The region is still struggling to recover from that storm.  Hurricane Delta will be the fourth storm to slam into Louisiana this year, something that has never happened.  And 2020 very well could be the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history — which may be tied to the record heat this year.  It has already brought twice the typical number of storms and is only three named storms away from becoming the most active hurricane season on record and there is a high possibility it could happen.

Up Next

As Flood Plains Expand, Sellers Continue to Hide Risk from Residents

As Flood Plains Expand, Sellers Continue to Hide Risk from Residents

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer  Across the nation, 15 million residences are at high risk of flooding within the next 30 years, and most homeowners and renters aren’t aware of this risk. Only about half of states require any kind of disclosure when it comes to flood risk and those that do offer information […]

Continue Reading 710 words
September 2020 Is Hottest Ever Recorded, Here Comes La Niña

September 2020 Is Hottest Ever Recorded, Here Comes La Niña

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that September 2020 was the hottest ever recorded and that they now fully expect that 2020 will be one of the three hottest years on record. 

Why This Matters:  Every month for the last 429, global temperatures have been “at least nominally” above the 20th-century average — so it’s not just Septembers that are warm.

Continue Reading 501 words

Hurricane Delta Leaves Louisiana Delta Reeling

Hurricane Delta provided a knockout second punch to the Southwest Louisiana coastline, coming ashore within 20 miles of Hurricane Laura’s path, leaving more than 200,000 customers still without power late yesterday (at its peak the number was 700,000).

Why This Matters:  Delta was the 25th named storm, the 10th to make landfall in the U.S. this year, and storm season is winding down but it is not over.

Continue Reading 177 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.