New data shows this October warmest on record


November 6th, 2019

Last month was the
warmest October on record following unprecedented high temperatures over the summer. 

The high October
temperatures are part of a “long-term warming trend,” according to the EU’s
Copernicus Climate Change Service. 

This is the fifth
month in a row that records have either been broken or been very close to being
broken, the European scientific body said. 

Globally, October was
0.69 C warmer than the average October from 1981 – 2010, with temperatures
“much above average” in large parts of the Arctic. 

‘This is not science

September also saw record-breaking
temperatures across the globe. The high autumn temperatures came on the heels
of this summer’s continental heatwave that saw July become the hottest month on

The heatwave,
according to the World Weather Attribution Network, would have been “extremely
unlikely” without climate change. 

The World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted that this new record is “particularly
significant” as the previous record in July 2016 was set during one of the
strongest El Nino years. 

El Nino events happen
approximately every five to seven years and subsequently warm the ocean and
atmosphere, causing an increase in temperature. This year has not witnessed a
strong El Nino occurrence, the WMO observed. 

“WMO expects that 2019
will be in the five top warmest years on record and that 2015 – 2019 will be
the warmest of any equivalent five-year period on record,” WMO
Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. 

“This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action,” Mr Taalas warned. 

Photo: pxhere

Sea Ice 

According to the US
National Snow & Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), Arctic sea ice extent for October
was also record-setting as the
month finished up
with the lowest sea ice extent
on record. 

The presence of sea
ice is key in moderating global temperatures as it reflects the sun’s energy
back out into space, keeping the planet cooler than it otherwise would

The NSIDC has “high
confidence” that we will see a further decline of Arctic sea ice. The new figures
come two months after the UN released a report on the oceans and cryosphere (the
frozen parts of the planet). 

The warming
atmosphere, the report warns, is leading to glacier and ice sheet melting, as
well as acidifying ocean waters as the seas have absorbed 20 to 30 per cent of emissions
since the 1980s. 

As a result, sea levels have risen substantially and storms have intensified, both of which threaten over one billion people worldwide. 

About the Author

Kayle Crosson

Kayle is a multimedia journalist focused on climate and environmental issues and contributes to The Irish Times and The Green News.

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