Planet Earth is on track to set a new world record for hottest year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday that, so far, 2015 has broken all records for heat. There is near certainty that 2015 will break 2014’s hottest year record.
August was the fourth consecutive record-hot month and the summer marked the fifth consecutive record-hot season. In 2015, six of the eight months have been record breaking. August broke the 2014 record by .16 degrees Fahrenheit and is tied with January 2007 as the third warmest monthly temperature break from the average since 1880, according to the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. April and January are the only months of 2015 that have not set new records.
"For scientists, these are just a few more data points in an increasingly long list of broken records (that) is due to warming temperatures," Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist, told the Associated Press in an email.
The Earth has broken monthly heat records 30 times and the seasonal heat record 11 times since 2000. A cold weather record has not been broken for nearly a hundred years, since 1916.
The natural El Niño is making many climate change situations worse, according to meteorologists. El Niño is the result of a warming of the Pacific Ocean and is having effects on weather worldwide. Still, El Nino is only slightly worsening what scientists claim is a result of human action.
“This is yet another reminder of the impact our unprecedented and inadvertent experiment – an experiment that began with the Industrial Revolution – is having on our planet today," Ms. Hayhoe continued in her email.
NOAA calculates a 97 percent chance that 2015 will beat 2014 in record heat. Those calculations were done before August. August makes the likeliness even higher, according to Deke Arndt, global monitoring chief for NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
August’s average Arctic sea ice extent was 620,000 square miles, which is more than 22 percent below the 1981-2010 average, according to the National Climate Data Record. August’s global average (67.1 degrees) and the summer average broke previous records by a sixth of a degree and a fifth of a degree respectively. Mr. Arndt called the changes “relatively large jumps over the last record.”
Due to El Niño and climate change, NOAA’s current winter forecast predicts cooler than normal temperature for states south of the Mason-Dixon line, from New Mexico to South Carolina. Temperatures will be warmer than average for the West Coast, Alaska, and states north of the Mason-Dixon line.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.