August temps hottest woldwide

Record high temperatures part of long-term warming trend

September 16, 2014


This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history.

August 2014 was marginally the warmest August worldwide since records began 130 years ago, according to new data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

NASA warned against reading too much into a single month’s records. “The key issue for climate are the long-term trends, not individual months”, said NASA-GISS director Gavin Schmidt.

Central Europe, northern Africa, parts of South America, and the western portions of North America (including Alaska) were just some of the spots on the globe that saw much higher than normal temperatures for the month. Large parts of the oceans were also running unusually warm.

“For the past few months we’ve been seeing impressive warmth in large parts of the Pacific… and Indian Oceans in particular,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., at the National Climatic Data Center.

By the NCDC’s measure, this will have been the 38th consecutive August and 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average, a mark of how ever-rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are warming the planet.

Earlier this year it looked certain that an El Niño event would develop in the Pacific ocean following a rise in sea temperatures, which could be expected to result in extreme weather effects around the world by Christmas. However, expectations of a strong El Niño have since faded.

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