Scientists have found this September was the hottest on record across the globe.
Surface temperatures worldwide were 0.05C higher than 2019, making it the hottest September since records began, according to the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
Europe also experienced its hottest September ever – beating the previous record set in 2018 by around 0.2C, the service said.
The overall increase saw warmer temperatures in the Siberian Arctic, where this year the ice extent melted faster than normal due to forest fires in the wider region.
September is the month when the ice extent is at its lowest – following the summer melt and before it freezes again for winter, the scientists said.
There were also well-above average temperatures in the Middle East, South America and Australia, they added.
The C3S, which is implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), monitors the global and European climate using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.
The findings are a clear reminder of climate change worldwide, which this year has resulted in devastating wildfires burning large parts of the US states of California and Oregon.
But the Arctic is where temperatures are rising “faster than anywhere else in the world”, the C3S said.
Carlo Buontempo, director of C3S at the ECMWF, added: “In 2020, there was an unusually rapid decline in Arctic sea ice extent during June and July, in the same region where above average temperatures were recorded, preconditioning the sea ice minimum to be particularly low this year.
“The combination of record temperatures and low Arctic sea ice in 2020 highlight the importance of improved and more comprehensive monitoring in a region warming faster than anywhere else in the world.”