Tuesday, October 18, 2016

September an Exclamation Point on String of Hot Months


By Brian Kahn
Oct. 17, 2016

New data from NASA shows that yet again, the planet had a record-warm month. September set a record with temperatures 1.6°F (0.91°C) above normal, besting the previous mark set in September 2014. It’s the latest in a run of months — and years — where freakish global warmth has become the norm.


According to NASA, 11 of the past 12 months have been record warm (for perspective, the last record-cold month was December 1916). The one exception is June, which NASA had previously declared record warm but updated on Monday to “only” third warmest after scientists received new data from Antarctica.

It should be noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the other gold standards for global temperature analysis, says the world has had 16 straight months of record heat (itself a record). It releases its September numbers on Tuesday.

Of those 12 months, seven of them have been more than 1°C [1.8°F] above average. Prior to that, no months passed that threshold in 136 years of record keeping.

In addition to the hottest months ever recorded, the recent stretch of heat includes February, which was the most abnormally warm month on record. Temperatures were 2.4°F (1.34°C) above normal. That’s the closest the world has come to the 1.5°C [2.7°F] threshold, which is viewed as an important threshold for the continued existence of a number of small island states.


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