We've reported previously on record sea surface temperatures for June and July. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released data showing ocean surface temperature for the entire June-August period of 2009 is the warmest for any Northern Hemisphere summer since record-keeping began in 1880.
The global average sea surface temperature for August was 62.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a record for the single month of August and 1.03 degrees above average. The global land surface temperature for August was ranked the fourth warmest on record at 58.2 degrees F, or 1.33 degrees above the 20th century average. Combined land and ocean surface temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record for the month of August, with Australia and New Zealand reporting their warmest August ever recorded. All across the globe, large portions of the world's land mass observed warmer-than-average temperatures, including Europe, parts of the Middle East, northwestern Africa, and southern South America.
For the three month period of June through August, global ocean surface temperatures were 62.5 degrees F, the highest on record, and 1.04 degrees above the 20th century average. Combined land/sea surface temperature for the period was 61.2 degrees F, or 1.06 degrees above the 20th century average, the third warmest on record.