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The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. During the final month, the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year record.
Global highlights: Calendar Year 2015For extended analysis of global climate patterns, please see our full Annual report
Global highlights: December 2015December 2015 Blended Land and Sea Surface
Temperature Percentiles December 2015 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in °C During December, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 2.00°F (1.11°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2014 by 0.52°F (0.29°C). The December temperature departure from average was also the highest departure among all months in the historical record and the first time a monthly departure has reached +2°F from the 20th century average. During December, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 3.40°F (1.89°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2006 by 0.86°F (0.48°C). During December, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.49°F (0.83°C) above the 20th century average. This was also the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record, . surpassing the previous record of 2009 by 0.36°F (0.20°C) The average Arctic sea ice extent for December was 300,000 square miles (6.0 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fourth smallest December extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center based on data from NOAA and NASA.
For extended analysis of global temperature and precipitation patterns, please see our full December report