August 2016 is the warmest month in 136 years of modern record-keeping, continuing a streak of 11 consecutive months dating back to October last year that broke high-temperature records, according to NASA.
Although the seasonal temperature cycle typically peaks in July, August 2016 wound up tied with July 2016 for the warmest month ever recorded.
According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in the US, last month’s temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest August in 2014.
Last month also was 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean August temperature from 1951-1980.
“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,” said Schmidt.
The record warm August continued a streak of 11 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 that have set new monthly high-temperature records.
The monthly 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.
The modern global temperature record began around 1880 because previous observations did not cover enough of the planet.