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Earth just had its hottest September on record

The Bobcat wildfire burns the hills about Los Angeles on September 15.
The Bobcat wildfire burns the hills about Los Angeles on September 15.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

This year, our planet has been setting records with extreme wildfires, storms and spiking temperatures. Now, it's set another record: The hottest September since record-taking began over 30 years ago.

The globe was 0.05 degrees Celsius (0.09 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer this September than it was in September 2019, the previous record-holder, according to a statement from the Climate Change Service, which is part of the European Union's Earth Observation Program known as Copernicus.

Many countries experienced higher-than-average temperatures but there were "unusually high" temperatures off the coast of northern Siberia, in the Middle East and in parts of South America and Australia, according to the statement. Europe has also had its warmest September ever, with temperatures about 0.2 C (0.36 F) higher than the previous warmest September of 2018.

Related: 10 signs Earth's climate is off the rails

Both January and May have also broken temperature records this year. 

In June, a town in Siberia recorded a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C), the hottest temperature ever recorded above the Arctic Circle, Live Science previously reported. Winter and spring in Siberia were also "unusually warm," with temperatures up to 18 F (10 C) higher than normal in May, according to the statement. In August, California's Death Valley hit 130 F (54.4 C), its hottest temperature in over a century and one of the hottest temperatures in the world, according to another Live Science report.

Los Angeles County recorded its highest temperature ever in the beginning of September at 121 F (49.4 C), according to another Live Science report

Warming has also led to weather more intense weather events. This year, wildfires in California have burned a record-breaking 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares), and the wildfire season is far from over. In fact, the area burned by wildfires in California has been increasing each year since 1950, according to California Environmental Protection's Agency's Air Resources Board, Live Science previously reported.

September also recorded the second lowest amount of sea ice in the world, according to the statement. "This is not totally unexpected, as sea ice extent has been declining for several decades, and September is the month that tends to show the lowest values for the year," officials with the Copernicus Climate Change Service wrote in the statement.

The data that's used to monitor surface air temperatures is part of a dataset known as the "ERA5" which has data reaching back to 1979, according to the statement. But the entire ERA5 dataset starting in 1950 will be available in 2020, according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

Originally published on Live Science.

  • Chem721
    If one is young and well-to-do, and wants to buy sea-shore property for their home, they should certainly consider the surrounding terrain if they want to keep their home from getting submerged in the coming years. Buying inland a few miles or so would certainly be preferred, assuming the ground rises a substantial amount from current sea levels.

    Like all real estate, it is location, location, location. But this "location" is going to take on a very different meaning in the years ahead, particularly considering rising sea levels.

    It has been projected that the Greenland ice sheet is in an irreversible melt-down (1). If it completely melts, it will add about 20-25 feet to existing sea levels (2). And of course the rate of its melting is increasing.

    Quoting from the NASA link (2):

    "The findings, which forecast an approximate 3 to 5 inches (70 to 130 millimeters) of global sea level rise by 2100, are in alignment with previous worst-case projections if the average rate of Greenland's ice loss continues." (emphasis mine)

    And it goes on to note:

    "As glaciers and ice sheets melt, they add more water to the ocean. Increasing rates of global warming have accelerated Greenland's ice mass loss from 25 billion tons per year in the 1990s to a current average of 234 billion tons per year. "

    end quotes

    These results indicate the rate of melting in roughly the last 25 years has increased by an order of magnitude (10x). There is every reason to believe the rate of sea level rise from Greenland alone will increase substantially in the coming years. And then there is the melting ice sheets of Antarctica. Their complete conversion into water will raise sea levels an estimated 200 feet (3). This will have a significant impact on future property values (at least for those not yet submerged). It might be best to worry more about location than who the neighbors will be!

    While the rate of melting and the rise of sea levels is difficult to predict with certainty, one thing that does seem certain is that they are going to melt, and the melting will accelerate in the coming years. After all, we keep hearing about reducing CO2, and have been for many years. But we are not even close to net-neutral (which won't stop the melting), much less at reducing the warming. It would appear that such efforts will never succeed based on all that has been said, and nothing having been done of any significance.

    For the young person considering buying sea-shore property, one might consider getting a firm grasp on these sea level estimates going forward, considering worst-case scenarios with time. If they intend to leave the property to their children, these considerations are even more important.

    Perhaps anyone finding themselves with such a difficult decision might consider a sea-cliff home instead. As long as the sea level is more than 225 feet below the cliff level, you and your children should be okay. (Assuming major storms are not in play for that location.) Clearly getting some course work in geography and related elevations of coastlines would be a good idea before dropping any cash for that sea-side property. One would not want their wonderful home submerged by the sea in their golden years, or perhaps in their children's years, depending on the melting rate in the coming years.

    So be sure to plan ahead, and make well-educated estimates on where to buy. And remember that for some buyers in real estate, "location, location, location" might not mean the same thing anymore.....


    (1) https://www.livescience.com/greenland-melt-point-of-no-return.html
    (2) https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2940/greenlands-rapid-melt-will-mean-more-flooding/
    (3) https://sealevel.nasa.gov/understanding-sea-level/global-sea-level/ice-melt
    Reply
  • Liam Lucas
    Chem721 said:
    After all, we keep hearing about reducing CO2, and have been for many years. But we are not even close to net-neutral (which won't stop the melting), much less at reducing the warming. It would appear that such efforts will never succeed based on all that has been said, and nothing having been done of any significance.
    So all this controversy and carbon trading, all the protests from AGW believers is just a waste of time, because nothing will change? The first sensible thing I have read, what a relief that everything from the AGW forum and from all the Marxist protestors but unbelievably also from NASA complaining about sea level changes is just plainly a HOAX!
    Reply
  • Chem721
    Liam Lucas said:
    So all this controversy and carbon trading, all the protests from AGW believers is just a waste of time, because nothing will change?

    It is an attempt to do something to reverse the disastrous course we are on, but people do not realize that a major reduction in CO2 is the only real solution.

    There are not enough people empowered to do anything about it other than point out the future shock that the world is looking at without massive mitigation efforts. Actually the shock is on-going, there are just not enough people who really care.
    Reply