The planet outdid itself last month, as November 2020 ranked second hottest on record, overtaking November 2019 for the No. 2 spot.
Additionally, the year to date (January through November) and the three-month season (September through November) placed second and third hottest, respectively, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Exceptional warmth also caused Arctic sea ice coverage to melt to its second-lowest November coverage on record.
Here’s more from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:
Climate by the numbers
The average global land and ocean surface temperature for November 2020 was 1.75 degrees F (0.97 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average. This is the second-highest November temperature on record — slightly below that for November 2015 — and exceeds the now third-highest average temperature observed for November 2019.
The Northern Hemisphere had its warmest November on record, with the Southern Hemisphere seeing its ninth warmest. The most notable temperature departures were felt across parts of the contiguous U.S., northern Europe, northern Russia, Australia, central and southern South America, the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.
The world’s 10 hottest Novembers have all happened since 2004, with five of those occurring as recently as 2013.
Year to date and the 3-month season
The year-to-date (through November) global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.80 degrees F (1.00 degree C) above the 20th-century average, making it the second-warmest YTD in the 141-year record — just 0.02 of a degree F (0.01 of a degree C) cooler than the same period in 2016.
The season — meteorological autumn or spring, depending on the hemisphere — saw an average combined global land and ocean temperature of 1.64 degrees F (0.91 of a degree C) above the average of 57.1 degrees F (14 degrees C). This three-month period ranked third warmest on record behind the 2015 and 2019 seasons.
According to a statistical analysisoffsite link done by NCEI scientists, 2020 is very likely to rank among the three-warmest years on record.