August 2016 was the hottest month recorded in the last 136 years

NASA’s analysis confirms the latest trends. August 2016 sets a new monthly record in high temperatures, continuing a streak of 11 consecutive months.

Scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) of New York have published their latest analysis on average global temperatures recorded in the month of August. And they show clear agreement in the overall warming trend: August is the hottest month in 136 years of modern record-keeping.

august 2016
The graph measures seasonal cycles and temperature variations. Photo via GISS.

The graph above shows it well. The blue bends are the temperatures recorded in the last years of the nineteenth century, the green ones are the average temperatures recorded from the ‘40s and ‘60s to today, during the economic boom occurred after the end of World War II. But let’s focus on the red lines. Firstly, because they represent a shorter time span than the other bends (the last 16 years). Secondly, because August 2016 shows a very high average temperature and separates from the other lines. It was as many as 2°C warmer than the previous months.

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A graph created by Joshua Stevens, scientist at the NASA Earth Observatory and member of the GISS team

August 2016, the hottest month in 136 years

Although the seasonal temperature cycle typically peaks in July, this year scientists have drawn their attention to the month of August. “Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile”, GISS Director Gavin Schmidt explained. “We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet”.

august 2016
The summer 2016 will also be remembered for the number of wildfires broke out in Spain, Portugal and Italy © PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images

The fact remains that, August continued a streak of 11 consecutive months that have set high-temperature records. Since October 2015, data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations, ship and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations confirm the trends.


The scientists agree

Scientists at NOAA, the British Met Office and the Japanese Metereological Agency agree that the last years, in particular 2014, 2015 and 2016, are the warmest months ever recorded. And they’ve confirmed it independently, providing different measurements that have the same result. The planet’s temperatures are increasing, relentlessly.

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