Last month was the hottest month, ever; not in California or even all of America, but in the whole recorded weather history of the planet. Phys.org reports that the first seven months of 2015 were the warmest since modern weather records began in 1880, and this past July was the warmest month ever entered into those records. The average July temperature across land and sea surfaces around the world was 61.86 degrees F (16.61 Celsius), cracking the previous record set in 1998.
The news comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which warns that the planet is warming due to continued abuse of fossil fuels that release carbon into the atmosphere – and things are only going to get worse.
“The world is warming. It is continuing to warm,” says Jake Crouch of the NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information. “That is being shown time and time again in our data. Now that we are fairly certain that 2015 will be the warmest year on record, it is time to start looking at what are the impacts of that. What does that mean for people on the ground.”
NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, the two other keystone bodies for measuring global weather, also agreed that July was hot, hot, hot – and the world is on track for its hottest year ever.
According to Grist, the El Nino weather phenomenon has had a hand in boosting temperatures this year by bringing warmer temperatures to various parts of oceans around the world. It’s expected to peak in late fall or early winter, adding to the belief that 2015 will break all previous records and be the hottest year ever.
While El Nino is definitely doing its part, the fact that greenhouse gas levels have gone from 280 parts per million (ppm) in pre-industrial times, to 400 parts per million today, is more likely the cause of our climate woes. Scientists around the world predict global temperatures will rise by 3 to 9 degrees F by the end of the century, depending on when – and if – and by how much greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.