July was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded

Why are you so surprised?

Photo: Asian Development Bank/ Flickr

July was the hottest month ever recorded. Think about that: in over 136 years of record keeping, July beat out 1,632 months to become the hottest. This becomes all the more impressive (and terrifying) when you take into account all the other heat records that have occurred in the past few years. In 2013 NASA reported that 9 of the 10 warmest years happened since 2000; one year later 2014 broke all records and became the warmest year ever… until 2015 came along and shattered all other records with an average temperature that was .87°C above the norm. And now we have 2016. So really, it is a great feat that July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded, but July’s record also did something else: it continued a consecutive 10 month streak of new monthly high-temperature records. October 2015 was the warmest October ever recorded, November was the warmest November, same with December, January, and so on. It won’t come as a surprise then to note that NASA’s Director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies believes that the year 2016 will be the hottest year ever recorded – the 3rd year in a row to do so. The real question here isn’t whether the earth is warming – it’s when will we stop being so surprised when it does?  

Author:

Emily Gallagher is a program associate in the Resource Security program.