In what has become a common refrain this year, last month ranked as the hottest August on record, according to NASA data released Monday. Not only that, but the month tied July as the hottest month the world has seen in the last 136 years.
August came in at 1.76˚F (0.98˚C) above the average from 1951-1980, 0.16C above August 2014, the previous record holder. The record keeps 2016 on track to be the hottest year in the books by a fair margin.
Watch global temperatures rise over time, culminating in the streak of record hot months of 2016, including July and August, the two hottest months on record. (Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)
That August continued the streak of record hot months this year and tied July as the hottest month was somewhat unexpected. The seasonal temperature cycle generally reaches a peak in July, as it did this year. But August was so anomalously warm — more so even than July — that it tied that month’s overall temperature.
It was also thought that July would likely be the last record hot month of the year, given the dissipation of El Niño.
In NASA’s dataset, August marks the 11th record-setting month in a row. That streak goes back 15 months through July in data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each agency handles the global temperature data slightly differently and uses a different period of comparison, leading to slight differences in the monthly and yearly temperature numbers. Overall, though, both datasets show clear agreement in the overall warming trend.
That trend is what Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and other climate scientists emphasize. It is that excess heat that has accumulated over decades thanks to rising levels of greenhouse gases that accounts for the bulk of this year’s record warmth, with El Niño providing only a small boost.
“Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile,” Schmidt said in a statement. “We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet.”
International negotiators hope to curtail that long-term trend by limiting warming to less than 2˚C (3.6˚F) over pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. There have even been discussions to aim for an even more stringent target of 1.5˚C.
To show how close the world already is to surpassing that goal, Climate Central has been averaging the NASA and NOAA temperature data each month and comparing that number to the average from 1881-1910, closer to preindustrial times.
Through July, the global temperature for the year was 1.31˚C (2.36˚F) above the average from that period. A new average will be calculated through August when NOAA releases its temperature data on Sept. 20.
Whether September will continue the record streak is uncertain, but regardless of where it falls, there is already a greater than 99 percent chance that 2016 will take the title of hottest year, Schmidt has said.
This article was originally published at Climate Central
After getting caught having sex with former congregants, Franklin Graham’s nephew launches new church based on ‘redemption’
Tullian Tchividjian insists that when he had extra-marital affairs with congregants at his former church, they were "consensual" and not an abuse of power. Nevertheless, he's getting a second shot with the upcoming launch of his new church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, The Christian Post reports.
“I don’t care what role a person has, a consensual relationship between two adults is not abuse. And some of these people will try to make the case that, ‘Well, because you’re in a position of authority, it is abuse,’” Tchividjian, who is the nephew of evangelical figurehead Franklin Graham and the grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham, told the Palm Beach Post this weekend. “And I’ll go, ‘OK I can see how that has been and can be used by people in those positions.’ ... [But] that just was not true for me. I was not abusing my authoritative role to try and find women.”
Conservative columnist blasts GOP as ‘partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature’
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again ripped into The Squad, this time to undercut an emotional press conference in which Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) described the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.
“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”
Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!
‘They’re with me all the way’: Trump uses Log Cabin endorsement as shield when asked about destroying LGBT rights
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Trump bragged, “they’re with me all the way, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group,” during a Tuesday afternoon press gaggle, according to pool reports.