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Earth’s Average Temperature Continues To Rise

Global Change: Satellite data shows record-breaking warmth continues

by Steven K. Gibb
August 24, 2015

Family walking in hot weather.
Credit: Heiko Kueverling/Shutterstock
Heatwaves in Europe and the Middle East are part of a broader global warming trend.

Satellite data show July was the warmest month ever on record worldwide and 2015 the hottest year thus far, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says.

The temperature findings parallel the ongoing trend of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

NOAA also found increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves in July, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. Global average temperatures were exacerbated by the recurrence of the El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, which brings warmer waters to the surface. The recurrence began in June and has an 80% chance of continuing through the spring of 2016, according to NOAA.

NOAA also 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 global temperature.

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.

According to a new climate report from NOAA, “The July temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.65 °C (1.17 °F) 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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