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 credit: 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.

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Yasemin Saplakoglu
Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, writing about biology and neuroscience, among other science topics. Yasemin has a biomedical engineering bachelors from the University of Connecticut and a science communication graduate certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she's not writing, she's probably taking photos or sitting upside-down on her couch thinking about thinking and wondering if anyone else is thinking about thinking at the exact same time.