How hot was August 2016? It was the hottest August in the last 136 years of modern meteorological record keeping?
On Sept. 12, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) posted its monthly analysis of global temperatures for August 2016. The analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world; ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature; and Antarctic research stations.
"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."
August 2016's temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest August in 2014.
2015 was the hottest year in record keeping and 2016 is on its way to take the top honor. Are the warming temperatures and the latest El Niño connected? According to the Earth Institute at Columbia University, most scientists agree that the warming trend (2011 to 2015 is the hottest five-year period ever.) is due to greenhouse gases humans have put into the atmosphere. But 2015’s warming of .9˚C above the average for the 20th century was the “largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, because of the presence of a strong El Niño.