The year 2014 is on track to become the warmest year on record, despite recent cold temperatures seen throughout much of the Central United States in November.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that August 2014 was the hottest August on record worldwide.
High temperatures in October were seen in both the northern and southern hemisphere. Average temperatures were at record highs south of the equator, and the third-highest recorded in the north - 1.89 degrees Fahrenheit - above averages seen in the 20th Century. Water temperatures in the northern hemisphere were the highest on record. Ocean temperatures rose to 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit over the 20th Century global average. The departure from the norm was tied with June 2014 for the third-greatest ever recorded.
"With records dating back to 1880, the global temperature averaged across the world's land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for the month, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average. This also marks the third consecutive month and fifth of the past six with a record high global temperature for its respective month (July was fourth highest)," NOAA officials stated in a press release on record temperatures.
Coastal regions in the western United States saw record high temperatures in 2014, along with southern Europe, and eastern Russia, each contributing to warming in the northern hemisphere. One exception to this trend was central Siberia, where average temperatures were between seven and nine degrees Fahrenheit lower than normal. On the other side of the planet, record high temperatures were measured in western and southern Australia, as well as southern regions of South America.
Drought in western American states is likely to continue as temperatures rise, and winter months are critical to western water supplies for the following year.
The probability of an El Niño system forming in the Pacific Ocean is now just 58 percent, down slightly from 60 percent, estimated in October. This warming of central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean occur, on average, once every five to seven years.
"Similar to last month, most models predict El Niño to develop during October-December 2014 and to continue into early 2015... If El Niño does emerge, the forecaster consensus favors a weak event," NOAA officials reported.
Temperatures around the world have been recorded since the 1880's, and record cold temperatures were frequently noted in the first few decades. Record high temperatures were recorded in the 1930's and 1940's, before temperatures leveled out. In the 1980's, global warming led to increasing temperatures, leading to record highs seen today.