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Copernicus: October – exceptional temperature anomalies.  2023 is very likely to be the warmest year on record

Copernicus: October – exceptional temperature anomalies. 2023 is very likely to be the warmest year on record

Global mean surface air anomalies over the period 1991-2020 for each October from 1940 to 2023. Source: ERA5. Source: C3S/ECMWF.

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Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)implemented by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins that include reports on observed changes in the world. Surface air temperature, Sea ice And Hydrological variables. All reported results are based on computer-generated analyzes using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures during October 2023:

  • October 2023 was the warmest October on record globally, with an average air temperature of 15.30°C, 0.85°C above the 1991-2020 October average and 0.40°C above the previous record set in October. 2019.
  • The global temperature anomaly for October 2023 was the second highest of any month in the ERA5 dataset, and only September 2023 was higher.
  • The month as a whole was 1.7°C warmer than average October estimates for the years 1850-1900, the reference period before the Industrial Revolution.
  • For the calendar year to date, January to October, the average global temperature for 2023 is the highest on record, 1.43°C above the pre-industrial average of 1850-1900, and 0.10°C above The 10-month average for 2016, which is the current average. Warmest calendar year on record.
  • For Europe, October 2023 was the fourth warmest October on record, 1.30°C higher than the 1991-2020 average.
  • The mean sea surface temperature for October over 60°S to 60°N was 20.79°C, the highest ever recorded in October.
  • The El Niño phenomenon has continued to develop in the tropical Pacific, although the anomalies are still lower than those reached at this time of year in the extreme years of 1997 and 2015.


Monthly anomalies in global land surface temperature (°C) compared to the period 1991-2020 from January 1940 to October 2023, plotted as a time series for each year. The years 2023 and 2016 are shown with thick lines shaded in light red and dark red, respectively. Other years are shown with thin lines and shaded by decade, from blue (1940s) to brick red (2020s). Source: IRA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.

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Comments Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).: “In October 2023, exceptional temperature anomalies occurred, four months after record global temperatures. We can say with almost certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record, currently 1.43°C warmer than average.” Before the Industrial Revolution. The sense of climate ambition Action ahead of COP28 has never been higher.


Global daily sea surface temperature (°C) from 1 January 1940 to 31 October 2023, plotted as a time series for each year. The years 2023 and 2016 are shown with thick lines shaded in light red and dark red, respectively. Other years are shown with thin lines and shaded by decade, from blue (1940s) to brick red (2020s). Source: IRA5. Source: C3S/ECMWF.

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Sea ice state in October 2023

  • October was the sixth month in a row that Antarctic sea ice extent reached a record low for the season, with the monthly value 11 percent below average.
  • Arctic sea ice extent reached its seventh lowest level for October, 12 percent below average.

October 2023 Hydrological highlights:

  • October 2023 saw above-average rainfall across much of Europe: Storm Babette hit northern Europe, and Storm Allen hit Portugal and Spain, bringing heavy rainfall and flooding.
  • Outside Europe, rainfall was above average in several regions, including southwestern North America, parts of the Arabian Peninsula, several areas in Central Asia, Siberia, southeastern China, Brazil, New Zealand, and some areas in southern Africa. Conditions were often associated with hurricanes that caused heavy rains and extensive damage.
  • The weather was drier than average in the southern United States and parts of Mexico, in both cases drought conditions, some areas of central and eastern Asia, and most of the extratropical Southern Hemisphere, including Australia.

More information on September climate variables and climate updates from previous months as well as high-resolution graphics and video can be downloaded here (This link can be accessed when the ban is lifted).

Answers to frequently asked questions about temperature monitoring are available here.

The global sea surface temperature (SST) results presented here are based on ERA5 SST data averaged over a range of 60°S to 60°N. Note that ERA5 SSTs are estimates of ocean temperature at a depth of about 10 m (known as core temperature). Results, for example. The peak date in 2023 may differ from other SST services that provide temperature estimates at different depths, such as the 20 cm depth for NOAA’s OISST.

Information about the C3S dataset and how it is collected:

Temperature and hydrology maps and data taken from the Copernicus Climate Change Service’s ERA5 data.

Sea ice maps and data are derived from a combination of information from ERA5, as well as from EUMETSAT OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1, Sea Ice Concentration CDR/ICDR v2 and fast track data provided at the request of OSI SAF.

The regional averages listed have the following latitude/longitude boundaries: Whole Earth, 180W-180E, 90S-90N. In total. Europe, 25W-40E, 34N-72N, by land only.

More information is available here.

Information on national data and their impact

Information on national data and impact is based on national and regional reports. For more details see the temperature and hydrology of the month in question C3S Climate Bulletin.

The C3S Commission followed the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommendation to use the last 30 years to calculate climate averages and changed them to the 1991-2020 reference period for its C3S climate bulletins covering January 2021 onwards. Figures and drawings for both the new and previous period (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

More information is available about the reference period used here.

About Copernicus and ECMWF

Copernicus is part of the European Union’s space programme, which is funded by the European Union and is its main Earth observation programme. The company operates through six thematic services: atmospheric, marine, terrestrial, climate change, security and emergencies. It provides freely available data and operational services that provide users with reliable and up-to-date information about our planet and its environment. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). European Union agencies, Mercator Ocean and others.

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ECMWF operates two services from the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the European Union’s Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 35 countries. It is a research institute and 24/7 operational service that produces and disseminates numerical weather forecasts to its member countries. These data are fully available to national meteorological services in Member States. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archive) at ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25 percent of its capacity for their own purposes..

ECMWF has expanded the number of sites where it operates. In addition to the headquarters in the United Kingdom and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities carried out in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be based in Bonn, Germany.

Copernicus Atmosphere Observing Service
Copernicus Climate Change Service Network
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Media contact

Nuria Lopez
Communications | Copernicus and the press contracts
General manager’s office
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Reading, United Kingdom | Bologna, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)118 949 9778
Mobile: +44 (0)7392 277 523
Twitter: @CopernicusECMWF

Björn Mogensen
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