A new report has some bad news for mankind -- we've set a record that no one really wants to set.
Scientists have discovered that this past month of August just shattered a big record, and one that has tremendous implications for humanity. August 2016 was the warmest August in the 13 years of modern record-keeping based on an analysis of global temperatures by scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The seasonal temperature reaches its highest point in July usually, but August actually tied July 2016 for the warmest month in recorded history at 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous August back in 2014, according to a NASA statement.
August 2016 was also nearly a full degree warmer than the mean August temperature from 1951 through 1980. That may not sound like much, but even a few hundreds of a degree is a massive change, and that usually is the extent of the variation in temperatures — not a full degree.
It also marked a streak of 11 straight months of setting new monhtly high-temperature records.
The study was based on data from 6,300 meteorological stations worldwide.
“Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile,” said 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.”
A previous statement adds: “The GISS team assembles its temperature analysis from publicly available data acquired by roughly 6,300 meteorological stations around the world; by ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature; and by Antarctic research stations. This raw data is analyzed using methods that account for the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe and for urban heating effects that could skew the calculations. There are sufficient observations from about 1880 (particularly in the southern hemisphere) to produce a reasonably precise global temperature record. Prior to that, uncertainties (due to gaps in spatial coverage) increase substantially.”