Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sixteen Month Stretch Of Record Global Heat Ends, Sort Of

By one measure at least, September, 2016 was not the hottest month on record for the entire earth.

September, 2016 was either the hottest or second hottest
month on record for the globe, depending on who's measuring.
If that's the case, September ended an incredible streak of 16 consecutive months that the world has seen record high temperatures.    

According to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, September, 2016 was "only" the second warmest on record, just a few hundreds of a degree cooler than September, 2015.

Data from NASA, however, says September, 2016 was barely the warmest on record, just a smidge warmer than last year. Basically, it's a tie between the two Septembers. 

The end of the incredible worldwide record hot streak has long been expected, because global temperatures tend to peak during an El Nino and several months after an El Nino ends. 

There was a strong El Nino earlier this year, which has since faded away. El Nino, an unusual patch of very warm water that sometimes forms in the eastern Pacific, boosts worldwide temperature.

The recent El Nino, combined with global warming caused by greenhouse gases, created the record hot streak.

October, November and December, 2015 were off the charts hot worldwide, so the rest of this year probably won't see record high temperatures.

But given the super heated first eight months of 2016, this year will likely be the hottest on record.

Also, most scientists expect that, though the coming months are unlikely to be record hot, they will almost certainly much warmer than the long term average from the 20th century.

Global warming is here to stay, with or without El Ninos.  

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