Live

Watch CBSN Live

November temperatures end record streak, world still on pace for hottest year

Temperatures in November didn't hit a record but the world is still on pace for its warmest year ever.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that combined average temperatures during November only managed to tie with 2008 as the seventh highest for the month. That ends a streak of three consecutive months in which warm monthly global temperatures set a record. Still, NOAA said the fall was one for the record books.

The combined average temperature across the globe from September through November was the highest on record for this period, at 1.26°F (0.70°C) above the 20th century average of 57.1°F (14.0°C).

And it won't take much for 2014 to go down as the hottest year on record.

If December is at least 0.76 degrees warmer than the 20th century average -- and the trend for December since 2000 suggests it will be -- then 2014 will set the global record.

This year October, September, August, June and May -- five of the last seven months -- set global monthly heat records. April 2014 was the second hottest on record. January, March and July were fourth. February was the 21st warmest.

Scientists have blamed this year's heat on man-made global warming. The burning of coal, oil and gas traps heats, changing the climate.

This heat is being driven by incredible warmth in the world's oceans. For a seventh month, sea surface temperatures set a record. Because oceans are big and slow to change that makes it more likely the world will set a yearly temperature record.

The globe has broken 37 monthly high temperature records since January 1997, including five this year, according to NOAA. The last cold monthly temperature record broken was in December 1916.

Michael Casey

Michael Casey covers the environment, science and technology for CBSNews.com

View CBS News In