October 2012 ended up as the second warmest October on record globally for land & ocean combined, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
Globally, October 2012 averaged 0.69 C or 1.24 F above the 1951-1980 base period average, according to NASA's GISS.
The warmest October on record was set back in 2005 (+0.73C).
The fact that last month was the second warmest October is not that shocking in itself, especially with the high number of top-five warmest months that we have been seeing over the past 10 years.
What is surprising is the fact that it was the unusual warmth over the Southern Hemisphere that helped push October 2012 into second place globally.
GISS land/ocean combined temperature anomalies for October 2012.
To my surprise, October 2012 was the warmest October on record going back to 1880 for the Southern Hemisphere with a temperature anomaly of +0.60 C or +1.08 F.
In most cases, it is usually the high, positive anomalies of the far north that help send the global average to near record highs, while the far southern zones are typically much closer to normal, but still above.
Instead, last month it was a combination of the typical high anomalies of the north and the high anomalies around Antarctica, Argentina and western Australia that almost brought us a record high October for the globe.
GISS temperature anomalies for the 2012 warm season (May-Oct) in the Northern Hemisphere.
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