According to data just updated by NASA, last August was the warmest August for the entire instrumental data record, which begins in 1881. This has been something of a mixed year but overall warm. Of the 134 years for which there are data, the coolest month this year so far was February, at 17th place, with July also being cool, at 11th place. Keep in mind this is over 134 years. For the months of January through August, there are no one-digit ranks (1 through 8) prior to 1989, inclusively, and you don’t really start getting consistent “top ten” ranks until 1998.

Monthly ranks so far this year, January was 4th, Feb was 17th, March was 4th, April was 2nd, May was first, June was 3rd, July was 11th, and as noted, August is 1st. For a year in which we are not (yet) experiencing an El Niño, that is very, very warm.

Again, these are global temperatures. Your local mileage may vary.

We don’t know how 2014 will rank as a year. If there is no El Niño it will rank high. If an El Niño gets going soon enough to affect the year’s average, 2014 may well be in the top few warmest years since global warming began.

Here is where the year to day (Jan through Aug) stands in relation to the years in the data set since 1990 inclusively:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.47.10 AM


  1. #1 Frank Olsen
    Sandnes, Norway.
    September 15, 2014

    This is not correct.
    According to NASA it was warmer (globally) in both 1998, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
    Equal temperature last year.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    September 15, 2014

    It is correct. You need to read the data accurately and pay attention to what was said in the blog post.

  3. #3 Windchaser
    United States
    September 15, 2014

    Currently the warmest non-El Nino year? Wow.

    At this point,any average year should be as warm as 1998… at least, if the trend is to believed.

  4. […] Greg Laden’s Blog) …read […]

  5. […] This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record, or near-record breaking months, including May of this year, which was also the warmest in recorded history.This story is developing. (h/t Greg Laden's Blog) […]

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    September 15, 2014
  7. #7 Greg Laden
    September 15, 2014
  8. […] (h/t Greg Laden’s Blog) […]

  9. #9 mike tomecek
    September 15, 2014

    for #7 , I notice that the last 15 yrs have been all ABOVE the green trend mean line – tho sometimes a bit up and down in the shorter term.

  10. #10 mike tomecek
    September 15, 2014

    #9 follow up – so it is ironic that this very swath of time that the climate deniers put up as a counter example of the gw trend is already ABOVE the trend.

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    September 15, 2014

    You need to read the data accurately

    Frank just happened to pick the meteorological station (land) data which naturally has different noise from the entire global data.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    September 15, 2014

    I think he just didn’t get that I was comparing year to date.

  13. […] Laden wrote in Science Blogs: ‘We don’t know how 2014 will arrange as a year. If there is no El Niño it will arrange […]

  14. […] Laden wrote in Science Blogs: ‘We don’t know how 2014 will arrange as a year. If there is no El Niño it will arrange […]

  15. […] IT WAS THE THE HOTTEST AUGUST IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET Not good. More here, here, here, here and here. And if you don’t believe in global warming at this point, you might […]

  16. #16 David Harrington
    October 16, 2014

    Can we even measure temperatures to the level of accuracy cited by Gavin Schmidt, dose that no make a nonsense of the whole “warmest August ever” claim.

    And why cite the surface temperatures when these are not even remotely global, concentrated as there mostly in the continental US. Why not use the satellite records instead? Is it because they don’t support the alarming claims by any chance?

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    October 16, 2014

    They are not concentrated in the US in this data set. And yes we can measure them accurately. Satellite records are used for part of this. And all of the data sets and measurement techniques support the measurements of a warming earth, and yes, it is alarming.

  18. #18 Marco
    October 17, 2014

    Greg, I don’t think David Harrington even understands how the surface record is prepared, or how satellites ‘measure’ temperature.

    If David Harrington is one of those “models are evil” people, he will be shocked how you extract temperature from measurements by satellite…

  19. […] al di sopra della media delle temperature registrate. Gli esperti lo hanno definito come “l’agosto più caldo della storia” e prevedono che i suoi effetti continueranno a influenzare il clima del mondo e a peggiorare […]