Environment

Warmest August on record continues streak of rising temperatures

Warmest August on record conti...
August of 2014 was the previous record-holder
August of 2014 was the previous record-holder
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Another month passes, another dataset gathered and interpreted by NASA scientists reinforce an alarming trend
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Another month passes, another dataset gathered and interpreted by NASA scientists reinforce an alarming trend
August of 2014 was the previous record-holder
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August of 2014 was the previous record-holder

Another month passes and another dataset gathered and interpreted by NASA scientists reinforce an alarming trend. The agency's latest monthly analysis of global temperatures has found August 2016 to be the hottest August in 136 years of record-keeping, marking the 11th consecutive month such a record has been broken.

Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York carried out their analysis by collating data from about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, along with instruments that track sea surface temperatures and Antarctic research stations.

August of 2014 was the previous record-holder, but the team found this year's August to be 0.16 °C warmer (0.28 °F) and tied July 2016 as the hottest month on record. It was also 0.98 °C (1.76 °F) warmer than the mean August temperature between 1951 and 1980.

Another month passes, another dataset gathered and interpreted by NASA scientists reinforce an alarming trend
Another month passes, another dataset gathered and interpreted by NASA scientists reinforce an alarming trend

With so many consecutive months of record-breaking temperatures, it follows that Earth is being subjected to above-average temperatures for sustained periods of time. The first half of 2016 was the globe's hottest six months on record. This coincided with record-breaking shrinkage of Arctic sea ice, where total coverage at the peak of melting season is now 40 percent lower than in the late 1970s.

There is climate trouble at the other end of the globe too, with atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main reason for the warming trend, passing the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark over the South Pole in May this year (also the hottest May on record). 350 ppm is a level experts consider safe, and the far Southern Hemisphere was the last place on the planet to be tipped over this already generous 400 ppm threshold.

"Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile," says GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. "We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet."

Source: NASA

16 comments
toddzrx
Please stop this nonsense reporting, which borders on unethical. "Record-breaking temperatures"; compared to what and when? Earth has been far warmer in the past. "with atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main reason for the warming trend"; according to whom? Have you ever heard of the sun and the sunspot cycle? Cosmic rays? Do some research..... "350 ppm is a level experts consider safe"; what experts? What defines "safe". We're well above that level now and I don't see people keeling over in the streets, nor Miami and New York underwater. "We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet." Great, but what do you consider "long-term". At what date do you start your trend line? I can pick a lot of different dates to tell the story I want.... This article is hog-wash. I simply look forward to the day when the AGW cabal finally admits they are wrong, that we have far more to learn about Earth's climate, and we can move on to more productive endeavors. Oh, and one last thing: your photo-shopped picture at the beginning of the article, which you guys use repeatedly in AGW articles like this one, is steam, not CO2. Please stop trying to give the impression that power stations simply belch out pollutants like there's no tomorrow; it's pretty disingenuous.
VincentWolf
Get that boat ready.
IanRivlin
I don't feel alarmed in the slightest. Where I am, it seems like a very normal 2016 - slightly cooler than I've been used to but not particularly so. Boringly ordinary, actually. NASA seem to come out with alarmist propaganda day by day. Anyone would think they were a government funded organisation, pressured by a left wing administration - but that couldn't be right, could it?
Brian M
Not doubting the figures from NASA, but from a human perspective just not seeing it.Its been quite a cool summer here in the UK, have had the air conditioning on for about 4 days and that's it. Certainly remember long, hot and uncomfortable summers years ago - but not these days. Perhaps its the distribution of the rise that is important, colder places getting warmer and warmer places not much change. Difficult to convince people of global warming when every day experiences point to the opposite!
Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
It's a good thing climate scientists don't use every day experiences in their data. The last sentence of the article says all that basically needs to be said. If you common folk want an example of what global warming, i.e. what the greenhouse effect can achieve, look at Venus and Mars. Venus has a surface temperature of a smouldering 460 degrees C, because of its insanely high concentration of CO2. Temperatures on Mars in contrast can plummet to -70 degrees C at night thanks to its thin atmosphere consisting of mostly CO2. Our atmosphere retains and loses heat originating from the Sun depending on the amount of heat trapping gasses that is present. Those are cold, hard facts. It's not one of those politicized, bullcrap points made by people with less of a layman's knowledge of the subject they are talking about.
BurkSchwab
toddzrx: Before you comment, learn about physics and chemistry please. For climate science you can start here: https://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/ 1) Sunspot cycles have been ruled out as the origin for the warming. Cosmic rays warm exactly nothing: https://www.skepticalscience.com/cern-cloud-proves-cosmic-rays-causing-global-warming.htm 2) 350ppm is the average CO2 concentration humans have enjoyed throughout their existence. It defines our preferred habitat. Doubling it (which is the path we're on) would bring us very far away from our preferred habitat. Or in more colloquial terms we're "shi***ing where we're eating". BTW, there have been studies testing the effect of higher concentrations of CO2. When the concentration of CO2 is about 600ppm for prolonged periods of time, it has been shown that mental capacity and productivity can be impaired because of this. So this it the "safe" we are talking about 3) Miami and New York: just wait for it. But they already started adapting. 4) Long term is usually multiple centuries. 5) Here's an xkcd cartoon for your convenience regarding trendline: https://xkcd.com/1732/ 6) AGW is real, you can't stop it by denying it exists. :) Everybody else: Nobody really cares about your local weather. We are talking about the global climate. You should understand the scale of the problem before you comment about the solution being wrong.
EcoLogical
toddzrx: Who are you to call this report nonsense? The 'steam' coming from those power plants is laced with invisible pollutants including Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, Sulphur Dioxide and oh yes, CO2. When Miami and New York are underwater it'll be too late ... that's the whole purpose of trying to stop this fossil fuel burning insanity ... before it's too late!
ezeflyer
The Koch Brothers pay better than NASA.
iplasticpi
10,000 years ago there was a land bridge between Russia and Alaska, and between England and Europe because the climate was so much cooler. Waters rose and ancient people adapted. Hopefully, technologically advanced people can adapt now. 25% of Netherlands is under sea level now, and they are thriving. And as CO2 (plant food) levels go up, so does the greening of the world - reported in a previous New Atlas post. As an environmentalist, I like a "greener" world.
TopherPoore
Of course it's a hot year - we are in the middle of a very strong el nino. It's similar to the 1998 el nino which was, then, the hottest year on record and still not due to carbon dioxide. Next year will be cooler than this year. That's the cycle. I'm not impressed with the assertion that we have 136 years of record keeping. The Earth is just a tad older than 136 years. That assertion is meaningless in the whole of things. When you get down to it, the idea that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is causing this warming is only supported by computer models. There is NO physical evidence that supports the models. What a shame that we have to be exposed to this sort of negativity and garbage from a publication that claims to be promoting science and technology.