Last month was the warmest Setpember on record based on global data, officals announced today.
The average global temperature for combined land and ocean surfaces for September, based on preliminary data, was 1.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.63 degrees C) above the 1880-2004 long-term mean, according to NOAA, parent organization of the National Weather Service.
It was the warmest September since reliable records have been kept starting in 1880. The second warmest September was in 2003.
Earlier this year, scientists predicted that 2005 would globally be the warmest year on record, continuing a recent trend of record-breaking years that has nearly all leading scientists in agreement that the planet is experiencing a significant warming period of historic proportions.
Computer models suggest that global warming will continue throughout this century. Sea levels are expected to rise, storm tracks may shift north, and storms will likely become more intense. Already, warmer ocean waters are making hurricanes more intense than in decades past, according to one study.
In the United States, last month was the fourth warmest September on record.
U.S. precipitation was below average during September, with unusually dry conditions for much of the East Coast and parts of the Plains and Northwest. Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland had their driest September on record.
Climate experts note that record-setting is not unusual given the relatively short time from for reliable records.