The increasing number and frequency of heat waves experienced around the globe over the past year are adding to the growing body of evidence that global warming is a real danger to human civilization. In 2016 alone, major heat waves, many of them deadly record-breakers, were experienced in Africa, India, the Middle East, and the United States. New South Wales in Australia is currently suffering through more record-breaking temperatures, seeing spikes of 47ºC (117ºF), 12ºC above normal for this time of year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that June of 2016 was the hottest month of June on record for the contiguous United States, since temperature records began in 1880. The average temperature seen in the Lower 48 over the month was 71.6ºF (22.1ºC), a full 3.3ºF (1.83ºC) above the 20th century average, and breaking the previous record of 71.6ºF (22.0ºC), set in 1933.
Alaska followed the continuing trend of northern regions seeing the largest gains, seeing an average temperature of a whopping 9ºF (5.0ºC) above average, handily beating the 1981 record of 6.5ºF (3.6ºC) over average.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their year-end report on the planet’s average temperatures, and 2015 has proven to the warmest year since record keeping began in 1880 — by a wide margin. The year also left a trail of multiple broken temperature records in it’s wake, for both yearly and monthly records over land, sea, and combined averages.
2015’s global average temperature was a full 1.62ºF (0.90ºC) above the 20th century average, and it beat 2014’s record temperature by 0.29ºF (0.16ºC). This margin is also a record, in-of-itself, being the widest observed margin on record.