|Only a few small areas of the globe were a bit cooler|
than average in an otherwise record hot month
for the globe.
The combined sea surface and land temperature for the entire Earth came to 61.86 degrees in July. This was the hottest of the 1,627 months the NOAA has examined since 1880.
July is normally the hottest month of the year on Earth. Yes, it's summer only in the northern hemisphere, and it's winter in the southern hemisphere, but on the whole, July comes out on top most years.
But July, 2015 was really extreme.
July continued a trend in which the pace of global warming has really, really picked up this year. That's because El Nino has been added to the mix. All other things being equal, El Nino boosts the world's temperature.
This El Nino seems to be becoming a particularly strong one, so the combination of El Nino and global warming is making 2015 an especially hot year.
With global warming, it's become common for a month or two out of each year to be the hottest on record, or at least scoring up in the Top Five Hottest.
This year, though, has been incredible. Five of the first seven months of 2015 - February, March, May, June and July, were the hottest on record.
So far, 2015 is obviously running as the hottest year on record, and stands an excellent chance of beating the record for the world's hottest year on record. That was set in 2014. Yep, just last year.
"I think, from my perspective, I would say I'm 99 percent certain that it's going to be the warmest year on record," said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden.
Much has been made about a relative "pause" in the pace of global warming between about 2000 and 2013. Warming continued during that period, but not on as fast a pace as in the previous decades. (Still, 2005 and 2010 were once the hottest on record, or at least tied for that mark, until 2014 came around.)
As I said in previous record warm months this year, it appears the "pause" such as it was, is over, and we're in a period of faster global warming. Once El Nino settles down in a year or two, the pace might slow again.
Which is just a reminder that the pace of global warming never was and never will be steady. Be ready for more slow downs and accelerations. Either way, the planet, or at least many of the people, plants and animals living on it are in danger from this global climate change.