October Was 332nd Straight Warmer-Than-Average Month

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 16 2012 2:55 PM

It Has Been Nearly 28 Years Since We Have Had a Colder-Than-Average Month

1353095163907
January–October 2012 blended land and sea surface temperature percentiles are shown on this government handout

Temperature map courtesy of NOAA.

Grist.org's Philip Bump dug through NOAA's latest State of the Climate report and discovered this nugget, emphasis his:

The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C (58.23°F). This is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. The record warmest October occurred in 2003 and the record coldest October occurred in 1912. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. The last below-average month was February 1985. The last October with a below-average temperature was 1976.
Advertisement

As Bump translates, that means that anyone out there 27 (and two-thirds!) or younger has never lived through a month that saw global temperatures dip below average. For what it's worth, the warmest October on record came in 2003 and the coldest occurred way back in 1912.

Bump has more on the numbers here, which you should go check out for yourself. But in our need to add something of our own (or, perhaps more accurately, our desire for a Friday afternoon spin on Wikipedia) that means the following people are among those who have never seen a colder-than-average month: Michael Phelps, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mischa Barton, Ethan Peck and Lady Gaga.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.