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November 8, 2021 – The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission with funding from the EU, routinely publishes monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables. All the reported findings are based on computer-generated analyses using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.

Surface air temperature anomaly for October 2021 relative to the October average for the period 1991-2020. Data source: ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF.

October 2021 surface air temperature:

  • Globally, temperatures were 0.42°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and the month is estimated to be the third warmest October on record and only marginally cooler than October 2015 and 2019
  • October 2021 was slightly warmer than average across Europe, with warmer-than-average conditions in northern and southwest Europe and colder-than-average conditions in south and southeast Europe
  • Much warmer-than-average conditions were experienced in northern Canada, northern Russia, and eastern Antarctica, while colder-than-average conditions occurred in southern Africa, southern Australia, and western Antarctica

Maps and quoted data values for temperature are from ECMWF Copernicus Climate Change Service’s ERA5 dataset. Area averages for temperature over the European region are for land only with the following longitude/latitude bounds: 25W-40E, 34N-72N.

C3S has followed the recommendation of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to use the most recent 30-year period for calculating climatological averages and changed to the reference period of 1991-2020 for its C3S Climate Bulletins covering January 2021 onward. Figures and graphics for both the new and previous period (1981-2010) are provided for transparency.

Copernicus is a component of the European Union’s space programme, with funding by the EU, and is its flagship Earth observation programme, which operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergency. It delivers freely accessible operational data and services providing users with reliable and up-to-date information related to our planet and its environment. The programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan, amongst others.

ECMWF operates two services from the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the EU Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states. It is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. This data is fully available to the national meteorological services in the Member States. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archive) at ECMWF is one of the largest of its type in Europe and Member States can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

ECMWF has expanded its location across its Member States for some activities. In addition to an HQ in the UK and Computing Centre in Italy, new offices with a focus on activities conducted in partnership with the EU, such as Copernicus, are in Bonn, Germany as of Summer 2021.


The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service website can be found at http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/

The Copernicus Climate Change Service website can be found at https://climate.copernicus.eu/

More information on Copernicus: www.copernicus.eu

The ECMWF website can be found at https://www.ecmwf.int/