Last month was the warmest October on record globally

Here's what it means for climate change

By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN
Copyright 2019 CNN

Sunshine, heat, hot weather dominate the central and eastern US this weekend.

(CNN) - As we rolled into November, scientists discovered last month was the warmest October on record globally.

The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet, said October 2019 was the warmest in their data record, which goes back to 1979.

Globally, October was 0.69 degrees Celsius (1.24 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the average of all the Octobers in the 30-year span from 1981-2010, Copernicus said in its report. Last month narrowly edged out the previous record for October, set in 2015, by only 0.01 degrees Celsius (0.018 degrees Fahrenheit).

Taking only European temperatures into account, October 2019 was the third-warmest going back to 1979. The same months in 2001 and 2006 were warmer, Copernicus said.

The heat was spread out across the globe.

"Temperatures were much above average in large parts of the Arctic, while much of western USA and Canada experienced much below average temperatures," the report said.

This year has seen multiple other hottest-month records, including July, which Copernicus said was the warmest month of all on record, replacing the record set in July 2016. Every month in 2019 has ranked among the four warmest for the month in question.

According to Copernicus, 2016 through 2018 have been the three warmest calendar years on record.

Monthly temperatures over the past 12 months have averaged close to 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, Copernicus said. A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in November 2018 warned of impacts to climate and weather if warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

Tuesday's report came the same day more than 11,000 researchers from around the world issued a grim warning of the "untold suffering" that will be caused by climate change if humanity doesn't change its ways.

Copernicus assesses that since the 1970s the overall average rate of warming of the world is around 0.18 degrees Celsius (0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

CNN's Emma Tobin, Ivana Kottasová and Isabelle Gerretsen contributed to this report.

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