Earth just broiled to its hottest month in recorded history, according to NASA, which calculated that July 2016 was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 1950-1980 global average. July was also about 0.18 degrees warmer than the previous record of July 2011 and July 2015, months that were so close they were said to be in a tie for the hottest month on record, said NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. Scientists blame mostly man-made climate change from the burning of fossil fuel with an extra jump from the now-gone El Nino, which every few years is a natural warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that changes weather worldwide, reports the AP.
Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said this is significant "because global temperatures continue to warm even as a record-breaking El Nino event has finally released its grip." NASA's five hottest months on record are July 2016, July 2011, July 2015, July 2009, and August 2014. Only July 2015 was during an El Nino. Records go back to 1880. This is the 10th record hot month in a row, according to NASA, and as Schmidt tweeted Monday, "July data are out, and what do you know, still 99% chance of a new annual record in 2016." The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures slightly differently, will come out with its July figures on Wednesday. (Read more heat wave stories.)