The heat wave continues.
Last month was the hottest June ever recorded, according to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This marks the 14th month in a row that global heat records have been broken. It’s the longest streak of record-breaking temperatures since reporting began in 1880.
Global average temperatures in June were 0.9 degrees Celsius hotter than the average for the 20th century. These temps broke the previous record, set last year, by 0.02 degrees Celsius.
The planet is well on track to surpass 2015 as the hottest year ever recorded.
“2016 has really blown that out of the water,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, per NPR.
The scorching temperatures of the past several months were partly fueled by this year’s powerful El Niño. However, these effects have been fading in strength, clearly revealing the impact of global warming.
“While the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers,” Schmidt said in a statement this week.
NASA noted that rising global temperatures were further exacerbated by extreme regional warming in the Arctic.
“It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme,” Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at the agency, said. “This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year.”
Arctic sea ice now covers 40 percent less of the Earth than it did in the 1980s, NASA said
Scientists have expressed concern at the rate of warming.
“I’m just in shock,” Astrid Caldas, climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told HuffPost in May. “I think most climate scientists are surprised at the speed that it’s happening. But at the same time, with emissions peaking again last year... everything was pointing to an increased temperature. It’s the amount by which the records are being broken, not the fact that the record’s being broken, that’s really striking.”