Share article:
Share article:

September 2021 ranked among hottest on global record

Western Europe experienced a particularly warm September. Credit: Belga

Last September was one of the hottest on record, while the most contrasting weather patterns were seen in Europe, where record-breaking temperatures were recorded alongside colder than average temperatures in the east.

This year the month ranked in second place following last year’s September, and it is followed by 2019 and 2016, according to reports from the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“This ranking has limited significance, as the difference between the four warmest years in terms of global average temperature is less than 0.08ºC,” the service said in its climate bulletin published on Thursday.

It was much warmer than the 1991-2020 average over most western regions in Europe, but it was cooler than the 1991-2020 average in the east. However, it was not cool enough to be record-breaking in a long-term context.

For example, Finland’s capital Helsinki experienced a cooler September in 2021 than in any year from 1997 to 2020, but during 11 September months in the period from 1961 to 1996, colder temperatures were recorded.

Related News


“European-average temperature anomalies are generally larger and more variable than global anomalies,” the service stated in its climate bulletin, adding that the European average temperature for September 2021 was the coolest September since 2013, and 0.2°C below the 1991-2020 average.

So far, 2020 is still the warmest calendar year on record for Europe by a clear margin, with a temperature of 1.2°C above the 1991-2020 average, while 2016 was the warmest globally, with a temperature 0.44°C above the 1991-2020 average.

It was also drier-than-average in large parts of southern Europe during September this year, but in certain places, including the west of France and along the eastern coast of the Black Sea, it was wetter than usual.

Fluctuating sea ice levels

When it comes to sea ice levels, September saw an 8% decrease in Arctic sea ice, which reached its annual minimum at 5.6 million square kilometres, 0.5 million square kilometres below the 1991-2020 average for September, making it the 12th lowest value recorded in 43 years.

The Antarctic sea ice extent reached 18.9 million km2 on average, only 0.3 million km2 above the August average value, however, this small month-on-month growth can be explained by the fact that the extent reached its annual maximum in late August/early September and has been slowly decreasing since then.

On a regional level, the sea ice extent reached a record minimum in the Greenland Sea, while a 15-year high was recorded in the Beaufort-Chukchi Sea, shared by Canada, Russia and the United States.

Latest news

New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Nightlife testing centre opens in central Brussels on Friday
A new coronavirus testing centre set up by the Brussels By Night Federation will open on Place Poelaert in Brussels on Friday, aiming to administer ...
Covid Safe Ticket targeted by legal action
It is less than a week that the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been required to participate in many social activities such as entering bars or ...