December 17, 2013
By Doyle Rice
Fueled primarily by phenomenal warmth in Russia, the Earth as a whole had its warmest November on record, according to data released Tuesday by scientists at the National Climatic Data Center.
"Most of the world's land areas experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, including much of Eurasia, coastal Africa, Central America and central South America. Much of southern Russia, northwest Kazakhstan, south India and southern Madagascar were record warm," the center reported.
The USA, and much of North America, was one of the only parts of the world that was cooler than average. In November, the USA was 0.3 degree below average. Northern Australia was also cooler than average.
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For the year-to-date, 2013 is tied with 2002 as the fourth-warmest year on record, the NCDC reported.
Russia had its warmest November since national records began in 1891. Some areas of the Urals, Siberia, south of the Far East region, and on the Arctic islands in the Kara Sea, had temperatures that were more than 14 degrees F higher than the monthly average.
NASA, which also tracks global temperatures, also reported that November was the warmest November ever recorded.
November marked the 345th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average.
Thanks to the record warm November, 2013 is now on pace for the warmest non-El Niño year on record, according to meteorologist Eric Holthaus of Q magazine. The years 1998, 2005 and 2010, which were all warmer than 2013, were all El Niño years.
El Niño is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water that strongly affects weather and climate patterns around the world.
Four weather-related disasters hit the Earth during November 2013 that caused at least $1 billion in damages, according to meteorologist Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground.
They included Super Typhoon Haiyan ($5.8 billion) raking the Philippines, the Nov. 17 tornado outbreak in the USA ($1.7 billion), flooding in Cambodia ($1 billion, the costliest disaster in Cambodian history), and the ongoing U.S. drought, which has been in progress all year, but with damages listed for the first time this year ($2.5 billion), reported Masters.