The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US, has said that Earth experience its 16th consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures during August 2016.
The warming of the planet has been increasing unabated since a few years; however, the years 2015 and 2016 have been particularly hot so much so that the the temperatures in month of August 2016 were even higher than the record temperatures of 2015. Details from NOAA indicate that during August the temperatures were 61.74 degrees (16.52 Celsius) and it was the hottest month of this summer. With the current trend in temperature increase, 2016 is all set to become the hottest year in the known history.
Overall the month of August 2016 was 1.66 degrees (0.92 Celsius) warmer than the 20th-century average and was the fifth hottest month ever recorded, going back to 1880.
Till date if the hottest months on record are enumerated, there are 17 in total and out of these 17, six have been recorded in the summer months of 2015 and 2016. The The temperature during the period June-August this year was 2.18 degrees (1.21 Celsius) warmer than the 20th-century average and beat the old summer heat record, set last year, by one-fifth of a degree (0.11 Celsius).
Some of the other notable findings were: Africa and Asia had their warmest August; South America had its second; North America its sixth; Europe its 10th; and Oceania its 19th. Further, average sea ice extent on the Arctic for August 2016 was 23.1 per cent below the 1981–2010 average. However, Antarctic sea ice extent increased a little with that in August being 0.2 percent above the 1981–2010 average.
NOAA’s announcement came on a day when 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including Stephen Hawking and 30 Nobel laureates, released an open letter urging American leaders not to pull out of an international agreement to curb global warming.
Organiser and MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel said the scientists wrote the letter in response to the Republican party platform that rejects the Paris climate agreement reached last December. The letter said presidential nominee Donald Trump’s advocacy of withdrawing from that agreement would “send a clear signal to the rest of the world: The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change.”