Another month, another temperature record falls. Last month was the hottest September on record, increasing chances that 2015 will be the hottest year in centuries, according to a new federal report.
The average temperature across the globe was 60.62ºF (15.9ºC). That’s a 1.62ºF (0.9°C) higher than the average September in the 20th century. The trend held true on both land and ocean surfaces.
The September record marks the fifth month in row of record temperatures, making it even more likely that 2015 will be the hottest year on record. A report released last month from the British Met Office suggested that record for 2015 was a foregone conclusion and 2016 would likely be even hotter.
A number of factors contributed to the elevated temperatures, including end to a so-called global warming hiatus—which scientists say was caused by a variety of factors, including stronger trade winds and volcanic eruptions that shielded the Earth from the sun—that slowed the rate of climate change for the first decade of the 21st century. El Niño, a climate phenomenon triggered by unusually warm temperatures along the equatorial Pacific, has also struck this year and is expected to continue into the spring of 2016. Forecasters say it may be the biggest El Niño on record.