Saturday 16 December 2017

July was hottest month in recorded history, says Nasa

A surfer at sunset
A surfer at sunset

Earth has sweltered through its hottest month in recorded history, according to Nasa.

Even after the fading of a strong El Nino, which raises global temperatures on top of man-made climate change, July broke global temperature records.

Nasa calculated that July was 0.84C (1.51F) warmer than the 1950-1980 global average.

Chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said that is hotter than the previous top temperatures in July 2011 and July 2015.

Scientists blame mostly man-made climate change from the burning of fossil fuel, with an extra jump from the now-gone El Nino, which is a natural temporary warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that changes weather worldwide.


Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said the rise is significant "because global temperatures continue to warm even as a record-breaking El Nino event has finally released its grip".

Nasa's five hottest months - in records going back to 1880 - are July 2016, July 2011, July 2015, July 2009 and August 2014. Only July 2015 was during an El Nino. .

This is the 10th record hot month in a row, according to Nasa.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures slightly differently, will come out with its July figures on Wednesday. The NOAA has figured there have been 14 monthly heat records broken in a row, before July.

"The scary thing is that we are moving into an era where it will be a surprise when each new month or year isn't one of the hottest on record," said Chris Field, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University.

The new record and all the records that have been broken recently tell one cohesive story, said Mr Schmidt, director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies: "The planet is getting warmer. It's important for what it tells us about the future."


Press Association

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