In 136 years of record keeping, last month was the hottest September on record worldwide, CNBC reported Wednesday. September was the fifth consecutive month to report record-breaking numbers, putting 2015 on track to become the hottest year in centuries.
The report, issued Wednesday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that September’s average global temperature on land was over 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the furthest jump from the average since the record keeping began in January 1880. The average temperature for September has been increasing by 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years.
In the U.S., last month was the second-hottest September on record, and temperatures shattered records in nine states. Last month, the British Met Office released a report suggesting that 2015 and 2016 will be the hottest years on record.
— Bloomberg Business (@business) October 21, 2015
El Niño’s weather patterns -- in which the ocean releases massive amounts of heat into the atmosphere -- were an immediate cause for the high temperatures in September, according to the New York Times. However, temperatures from September were still reportedly higher than the last strong El Niño in 1997 and 1998. Scientists said the record-shattering temperatures would not have occurred without the continuing trend of warming caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.
“We have no reason at this point to think that El Niño itself is responding to the forcing from greenhouse gases,” said Richard Seager, a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, the New York Times reported. “You can think of them as independent and adding to each other.”
A few areas did escape the scorching heat, however. Southern South America, far-Western Canada, Alaska and parts of Asia reported cooler-than-average temperatures last month. Spain and the United Kingdom also had cooler temperatures.