MIAMI: Last month was the hottest August in modern times and marked the 16th month in a row when global records for heat were shattered planet-wide, US authorities said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
The string of unusual heat across land and sea surfaces is “the longest such streak in the 137-year record,” said the monthly climate report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA report also found that global temperatures over the entire year so far have been “the highest on record.”
Average temperature for the year across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.82 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 57.3 F.
That was enough to surpass 2015, the previous record holder, by 0.29 F.
Climate scientists say the upward trend of heating is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, which add to greenhouse gases that trap heat around Earth.
The record heat trend has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which boosted warmth in the Pacific around the equator in the first half of this year.
A separate analysis issued by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) on September 12 found that last month tied with July’s record for the hottest month ever in the modern era.
“Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement.
“We stress that long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet,” he added.
Taken alone, August’s temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.66 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 60.1 F, NOAA reported.