By Jason Samenow
NOAA and NASA data reveal the Earth’s temperature reached its highest point in 136 years of record-keeping during July.
“July 2016 was absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began,” tweeted Gavin Schmidt, who directs NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is responsible for temperature measurements.
It was the 15th straight month of recording-breaking temperatures in NOAA’s analysis and 10th-straight in NASA’s, passing the previous hottest Julys by substantial margins.
“It’s a little alarming to me that we’re going through these records like nothing this year,” said Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
“Each month just gives another data point that makes the evidence stronger that we’re changing the climate,” added Simon Donner, professor of climatology at the University of British Columbia.
July is usually the hottest month of the year, as it coincides with the peak of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. But this July was more than 1.5 degrees above average in both NOAA and NASA’s analyses.
“July 2016 was the 379th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average,” NOAA said.
Most of the planet’s land and ocean areas were warmer than normal in July. Parts of the Arctic were more than 7 degrees (4 Celsius) above average.
“Warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures were observed across much of all land masses, with record warmth observed mainly across parts of Indonesia, southern Asia, and New Zealand,” NOAA said.
Furtado said the record global warmth was connected to extreme weather events happening around the world, such as the urban flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, and record flooding in China. “The two are going hand-in-hand, and they’re giving us a picture of what a future world might look like,” he said.