Publication Date October 18, 2016

The Hottest Months on Record Have Something in Common

The year-to-date temperature anomaly using the 1891-1910 baseline. Image: Climate Central

The run of record-setting months means 15 of the most abnormally warm months have occurred since March 2015. Accounting for ties, the only exception is January 2007 which came in tied for 11th. There has never been a run of hot months like this in the 1,641 months (or 136-plus years) of data at NOAA’s disposal. 

March 2016 tops the list with a global temperature 2.21°F (1.23°C) above the 20th century average. Even though September 2016 is the second-warmest September on record, it’s still on the list clocking in at 11th with temperatures 1.6°F (0.89°C) above average.


Oh, and the planet hasn’t had a cooler-than-normal month — nevermind record-setting cool — in 381 months (nearly 32 years).

The global average temperature is the clearest indicator of climate change and each month on record is a testament to what’s happening to the planet because of human carbon pollution. With all the record-warm months, it’s no surprise that NOAA still projects 2016 will be the hottest year in at least 137 years.