2015-08-24 / World

Earth in July was hottest month on record

By SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth just keeps getting hotter. July was the planet’s warmest month on record, smashing old marks, U.S. weather officials said.

And it’s almost a dead certain lock that this year will beat last year as the warmest year on record, they said.

July’s average temperature was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous global mark set in 1998 and 2010 by about one-seventh of a degree, according to figures released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s a large margin for weather records, with previous monthly heat records broken by a 20th of a degree or less.

“It just reaffirms what we already know: that the Earth is warming,” said NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch. “The warming is accelerating and we’re really seeing it this year.”

NOAA records go back to 1880. Separate calculations by NASA and the Japanese weather agency also found July 2015 to be a record.

The first seven months of 2015 were the hottest Januaryto July span on record, according to NOAA. The seven-month average temperature of 58.43 degrees is 1.53 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average and a sixth of a degree warmer than the old record set in 2010.

Given that the temperatures have already been so high already — especially the oceans, which are slow to cool — NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said she is “99 percent certain” that 2015 will be the hottest on record for the globe.

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