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Copernicus: September 2021 was the fourth warmest in the world

Copernicus: September 2021 was the fourth warmest in the world

Surface air temperature anomalies for September 2021 compared to the September average for the period 1991–2020. Data source: ERA5. Source: Copernicus Climate Change Service / ECMWF.

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), conducted by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Union, and publishes monthly climate bulletins on changes in Earth’s surface temperatureAnd sea ​​ice distribution And Hydrological variables. All reported results are based on computer-generated analyzes of billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Temperatures in September 2021

  • September 2021 was one of the warmest September months globally, along with 2020, 2019, and 2016
  • September 2021 is estimated to be the second warmest of these months, after September 2020, but the significance is limited because the four warmest years vary in the global average temperature by less than 0.08°C.
  • Europe set heat records in some places, it was cooler than average in Eastern Europe, and close to the overall average
  • Temperatures were well above average in central South America, northwest Africa, and southern and eastern China

Havsisen in September 2021

  • In September, the monthly average sea ice distribution reached its 2021 annual minimum in the Arctic and its annual maximum in Antarctica.
  • The distribution of Arctic sea ice was 8% below average, ranked twelfth in twelfth place in 43 years of observation of satellite data and fourth highest value since 2007, well above the very low levels of 2012 and 2019. and 2020.
  • Regionally, marine distribution has reached a record minimum in the Greenland Sea, but is the highest in 15 years in the Chukchi Sea of ​​northeastern Siberia.
  • The distribution of sea ice in Antarctica was slightly below average, after a period of six consecutive months with above-average values.
  • Sea ice concentration was above average around the Antarctic Peninsula and in the northern Weddell Sea and below average in the two adjacent marine sectors.

The maps and data values ​​for specific temperature come from ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Services ERA5. Zone averages of temperatures in the European region are only for countries with the following latitude/longitude limits: 25W-40E, 34N-72N.

The maps and data values ​​for sea ice were taken from a set of information from ERA5, as well as from EUMETSAT OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1 and Sea Ice Concentration CDR/ICDR v2 and Fast Track data provided as requested by OSI SAF.

C3S followed the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to use the past 30 years to calculate climate averages and changed to the 1991-2020 reference period for C3S Climate Bulletins covering January 2021 and beyond. Figures and graphics for both the new and previous periods (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

More information about September’s climate variables and climate updates from previous months as well as high-resolution graphics can be downloaded here:

More information about the C3S dataset and how it is collected can be found here:

More information on changing the reference period can be found here:

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Answers to frequently asked questions about temperature monitoring can be found here:

About ECMWF and Copernicus

Copernicus is part of the European Union’s Space Programme, funded by the European Union, the flagship Earth observation programme. The company operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergencies. It offers freely available operational data and 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 (EUMTSAT), the European Center for Medium Distance Forecasting (ECMWF), European Union agencies, Mercator Océan and more.

ECMWF operates two services of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program: the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernican Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the European Union Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 34 countries. It is a 24/7 operational research and service institute that produces and publishes digital weather forecasts to its member states. These data are fully available to the national meteorological services of the member states. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archives) at the ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

ECMWF is increasing the number of places in which it does business. In addition to the UK headquarters and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities implemented in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be located in Bonn, Germany starting in the summer of 2021.

Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service (B):

Copernicus Climate Change Service website:
More information about Copernicus:

ECMWF: s webb:

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Media connection

Nuria Lopez
Communication | Copernicus contracts and the press
General manager’s office
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Reading, UK | Bologna, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 118949 9778
Mobile: +44 (0) 7392277523
Twitter: Tweet embed

Bjorn Mogensen
Oxenstierna Communication
+46 708-184298
[email protected]


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