November was a hot month for planet Earth.
Government scientists reported Tuesday that last month set a heat record. They say it was the warmest November on record, across Earth, since record-keeping began in 1880.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says average global temperature, for water and land surfaces combined, was 56.6 degrees (13.7 Celsius). That's 1.4 degrees (0.78 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average.
It was the 37th consecutive November with above-average temperatures. The last below-average November was in 1976.
It was also the 345th straight month with above-average temperatures. That's almost 29 years.
Among the November hot spots: much of Eurasia, Central America and the Indian Ocean. In Russia, it was the warmest November on record. But parts of North America were cooler than average. No regions of the globe were record cold.
As The Christian Science Monitor reported in October, "If greenhouse-gas emissions continue to grow unchecked, the maximum temperatures, rainfall, and other aspects of climate that humans have experienced during the past 150 years will become the new minimum globally by 2047 (give or take 14 years), according to a new study."
Using emissions scenarios in reports by the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the team estimates that relatively aggressive efforts to curb emissions could delay the switch by up to 30 years. But even with strong curbs on emissions, the shifts will still take place.
These changes "will result in environments like we have never seen before," says Camilo Mora, a biogeographer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the lead author of the study, which appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
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