Earth just saw its hottest September ever recorded, marked by extreme weather, spotty rainfall and shrinking polar ice caps.
A report released Friday by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service showed that as a whole, the month was about 1.02 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the global averages from 1981-2010, and 0.04 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than September 2016, which has now been pushed to second place.
Furthermore, Arctic sea ice cover was about 36% lower than the 1981-2010 average, and Antarctic sea ice was about 0.9% lower than the average for that same period, even though September is typically when it reaches its annual high.
The rising temperatures come on the heels of a scorching summer during which July became the planet’s hottest month on record, with polar ice melting to record lows. That followed the world’s warmest June on record, which left much of Europe baking in a deadly heat wave.
Within the U.S., average temperatures throughout the summer in the lower 48 hovered about one degree Fahrenheit above average, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.
Alaska faced a more stark change, closing the season with an average daily temperature of 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center estimates that from October to December, above-normal temperatures will continue, most likely in the Northeast, Southwest and northern Alaska.
Last month, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets around the globe to speak out against government inaction on global warming. In New York, teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg delivered a scathing rebuke of world leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit for failing deliver on tougher environmental protections.
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