Pack up your snowballs, climate change deniers. The past two months, July and August 2016 are tied for the hottest months ever recorded in human history.
July 2016 broke the record with temperatures 0.84˚C (1.27˚F) hotter than the global average, and 0.11˚C (0.2˚F) degrees hotter than the previous record-holder, which happened to be June 2016.
August 2016 tying the record is actually underachieving, because the past 10 months have been a series of record-breaking temperatures, according to NASA’s temperature records.
If we look at records from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which uses a different method to measure global temperatures, the record-breaking has been going on for 14 months already since May 2015.
In an interview by News.com, Chris Field, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University said, “The scary thing is that we are moving into an era where it will be a surprise when each new month or year isn’t one of the hottest on record.”
Gavin Schmidt, NASA’s director for Goddard Institute of Space Studies advises us to put things in perspective. “Whether one year is 0.1 degree warmer than any other – it doesn’t mean too much,” Schmidt explained to Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic.
Schmidt continued, “The main issue is the long term trend shows the planet is 1 degree Celsius – almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit – warmer than it was during the 19th century. That has a very large impact on polar ice, on agriculture, on coastal erosion, on water safety. It’s a century-long trend at this point.”
While these records aren’t accurate for making claims on long-term climate trends, it would be best to do something about the (seemingly) ever increasing heat.
“We like anniversaries and records, but what the world is doing while we talk is changing,” says Schmidt. “And that’s the big takeaway.”