By Darren Goode - 09/15/10 06:13 PM EDT
The first eight months of 2010 tied for the warmest combined global land and ocean surface temperatures since records started in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday.
The January though August time period tied the same period in 1998 for the warmest. This year's summer — from June through August — was the second warmest globally after 1998 and last month was the third-warmest August on record, according to NOAA.
Wednesday’s announcement echoes previous monthly indications this year from NOAA that 2010 is well on pace to be one of the warmest years on record.
July was the second warmest on record and the combined global land and ocean surface temperature during the first seven months of this year was also the warmest on record.
Arctic sea ice covered 2.3 million square miles in August — or 22 percent below the average from 1979 through 2000 and was the second-lowest August since records began in 1979. The record low August was in 2007. It was also the 14th consecutive August with below-average Arctic sea ice.
Antarctic sea ice, meanwhile, was the largest ever on record this August. It was 4.1 percent above the 1979-2000 average. The previous record was set in August 2000.