#October2020 Sees Earth Endure Third-Hottest October on Record, Arctic Witness Slowest Known Sea-Ice Growth


(📸: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF)
Over the past few years, the climate across planet #Earth has been changing at a rapid pace, with its effects being fairly evident through hastened extinction of species, increased disaster events, brisk melting of ice, and record-breaking temperatures.

While the #COVID19Pandemic and the associated nationwide lockdowns did appear to have handed nature a much-needed ‘break’, the long-term build-up of warming agents in our atmosphere has continued to push mercury levels up across the globe.

As per the latest report by the European Union's Earth Observation Programme named Copernicus, October 2020 is well in line with the recent trends, as the third-warmest October ever recorded on planet Earth.

Above-average temperatures around the globe

The global-mean temperatures through October 2020 were 0.62°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average for October.
While last month was marginally warmer than some of the hottest Octobers on record, including Octobers of 2016, 2017, and 2018, it just fell short of Octobers of 2015 and 2019 by less than 0.1°C.

Even in India, October 2020 remained the third-warmest October on record, with an average maximum temperature of 32°C. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) records, October 2020 witnessed the warmest nights as compared to the past 50 years.

#TRIVIA: October 2020 was the warmest October ever recorded in Europe!

The European-average temperature for the month was 1.6°C above the 1981-2010 average; and 0.1°C and 0.2°C above October 2001 and October 2006—the next two warmest Octobers over Europe—respectively.
Deteriorating sea-ice cover

October marks the beginning of the sea ice growth season in the Arctic. Last month, the monthly average Arctic sea ice extent amounted to 5.4 million km2, rising from the 1.5 million km2 from September 2020.

(📸: Copernicus Climate Change/ECMWF)
As for the ice concentrations, the largest negative ice concentration anomalies relative to the 1981-2010 average occurred north of the Laptev and East Siberian Seas, owing to the very large positive temperature anomalies.

Low ice concentration in this region could end up having prolonged effects on Arctic sea ice cover during the upcoming winter and summer, as the Laptev Sea is known to be an important regional source for sea ice.

October also marked the fourth consecutive month with ice-free or close to ice-free conditions along the Northern Sea Route, with only the central Arctic Ocean and parts of the Canadian archipelago showing average ice concentrations.

(📸: Copernicus Climate Change/ECMWF)
On the flip side, the #Antarctic saw sea ice reach its annual maximum extent in September, with the sea ice melting season at the southern pole beginning in #October.
In October 2020, Antarctic sea ice extent reached 18.3 million km2 on average, which is not only 0.3 million km2 (or about 1.4%) above the 1981-2010 average for October, but also the first positive October anomaly observed since 2016!

The largest positive anomalies of this lot were observed east of the Antarctic Peninsula and north and westward of the Ross Sea.

Overall, October 2020 marked the second successive month with the above-average monthly extent in the Antarctic, after 48 consecutive months of below-average extents.


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