Last month the world endured the hottest August ever recorded, according to NASA.
It marked the 11th straight month, dating back to October 2015, of record-high monthly temperatures, and pushed 2016 closer to becoming the third straight year of record-setting global warmth.
August also tied with July as the hottest of any month ever recorded. Normally, global temperatures peak in July each year, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York who announced findings of their analysis this week.
August 2016’s temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest August in 2014, officials said.
Records date back 136 years.
The space agency’s monthly analysis is assembled from data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
Officials said that while record-setting weather for any given month is not telling by itself, the longer term trend of the planet warming is.
Climate specialists have said the pattern is an unmistakable sign of human-caused global warming.
Scientists say that while efforts in recent years to curb greenhouse gas emissions may help prevent worst-case scenarios, many effects of global warming — rising seas, stronger storms, increasingly extreme weather patterns, and more species dying off — are already happening.
Boston area residents have certainly been feeling the heat of late, too.
The city endured the hottest August ever recorded, and the meteorological summer — from June through August — tied as the fourth warmest ever.
It was also the driest summer ever recorded in Boston.
A parched Massachusetts is suffering its worst drought in more than a decade.
Matt Rocheleau can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele
Prospects for a record 2016 given Jan-Aug data remain v. high (> 99%) pic.twitter.com/tnaeL0yIbA— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) September 12, 2016