"For the January through September average, 1998 was +0.56 and 2016 is +0.55 [degrees Celsius above the 30-year average (1981-2010)]. The two years are running neck and neck," said Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville in press release. The UAH researcher observed that the tropics continued a broad cooling trend from March, but this was counterbalanced by warming elsewhere, resulting in no change to the global average from August to September. Christy added, "In 1998 global temperatures fell substantially through the last three months of the year, so we will wait and see whether 2016 will follow suit or stay warm and become the warmest calendar year in the 38-year satellite temperature record." At the moment temperatures in the tropical Pacific seem to be going in an El Nino neutral direction rather than cooling toward a La Nina. That would suggest the 2016 will likely be a record breaker.
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.12 C per decade
September temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.44 C (about 0.79 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.50 C (about 0.90 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Tropics: +0.37 C (about 0.67 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Go here for the monthly satellite data since 1978.