(CBS News) – Last month was the hottest ever October on record globally, according to data released Friday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, an organization that tracks global temperatures. The month, which was reportedly 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average October from 1981-2010, narrowly beat October 2015 for the top spot.
According to Copernicus, most of Europe, large parts of the Arctic and the eastern U.S. and Canada were most affected. The Middle East, much of Africa, southern Brazil, Australia, eastern Antarctica and Russia also experienced above-average temperatures.
Parts of tropical Africa and Antarctica and the western U.S. and Canada felt much colder than usual, however.
While all major oceans experienced unusually low temperatures, air temperatures over the sea were still much higher than average.
October is following a 2019 trend. The hottest-ever September follows a record-setting summer, which included the hottest-ever June and July and the second-hottest August. Overall, 2019 will make history as one of the top five warmest years on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
Temperatures from November 2018 to October 2019 were above average for “virtually all of Europe,” and most other areas of land and ocean, Copernicus said. According to the U.N., the international goal is to limit temperature growth this century to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius — a goal that is becoming rapidly more difficult to meet.
The news comes just one day after the Trump administration began the formal process to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord — a pact in which nearly 200 countries set their own national targets for reducing or controlling pollution of heat-trapping gases. It also comes as 11,000 scientists from around the world declared a “climate emergency.”
Scientists continue to warn that human activity is heating the planet at a dangerous rate, and that high temperatures pose a more lethal threat to humans than any other type of extreme weather event. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently warned the threat posed by extreme heat “will only become more serious and more widespread as the climate crisis continues.”
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