August shatters global heat records for 16th month in a row

2016-09-20 20:11
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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.

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.

The NOAA report also found that global temperatures over the entire year so far have been "the highest on record".

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 the 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.

Africa and Asia each saw record high average temperatures for the month - the hottest since continental records began in 1910.

"Much-warmer-than-average conditions engulfed the vast majority of the world's land surfaces," said the NOAA report.

"Record warmth during the first eight months was present across Alaska, western Canada, northern South America, central and southern Africa, southern Europe, Indonesia, and across parts of Central America, the Caribbean, northern and central Asia and Australia."

New Zealand has seen its hottest year since national records began in 1909.

"Cooler-than-average conditions were limited to small areas" of the Pacific, the southern Atlantic Ocean and southeastern Indian Ocean.

The warming trend of El Nino subsided in July and neither El Nino nor La Nina are expected to prevail for the rest of this year.


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