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Environment

Earth’s Temperature Keeps Rising

by Steven K. Gibb
August 31, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 34

Satellite data show July was the warmest month ever on record worldwide and 2015 the hottest year thus far, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration says. The temperature findings parallel increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. July had a monthly combined average temperature over land and ocean surfaces of 16.61 °C, an all-time high since record keeping began in 1880, NOAA says. The agency also found increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves in Europe and the Middle East this July. NOAA compared global average temperatures with historical records and found that the first seven months of 2015 were 0.85 °C above the 20th-century average. According to a new NOAA climate report, “The July temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.65 °C per century.” International diplomats will be negotiating a new climate pact in Paris in three months with the international policy goal of limiting warming to below 2 °C by 2100.

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