January through August

The year-to-date average global temperature was 1.37 degrees F above average of 57.3 degrees. This is the fourth highest on record for the January through August (YTD) period, but 0.47 of a degree lower than the record high set in 2016 for the same period.

Key facts

  • The globally averaged land-surface temperature was sixth highest on record for August and the fourth highest for the YTD (January–August) period.
  • The globally averaged sea-surface temperature was fifth highest on record for August and the fifth highest for the YTD.
  • Each major ocean basin had areas that were record-warm last month, with the largest portions across the Barents Sea, western Pacific Ocean.
  • Warmth across continents: Last month, temperatures were at least 3.6 degrees F above average across much of Europe, central Asia, the northeast US and southern Canada. In addition, small areas across Africa, Asia and North America also had record-warm August temperatures.
  • Sea ice coverage remains smaller than average at the poles: The average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) in August was 22.1% below the 1981–2010 average, making it the seventh-smallest extent for August on record. The Antarctic sea ice extent last month was 2.1% below average, the fifth smallest on record for August. Antarctic sea ice coverage expanded at a rate faster than average during the second half of August.