New Delhi: NASA has declared August 2016 as the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping.
According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, August 2016's temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius, which is warmer than the previous warmest August in 2014.
The record warm August marked a streak of 11 consecutive months (dating to October 2015) that have set new monthly temperature records.
According to NASA researchers, August 2016 wound up tied with July 2016 for the warmest month ever recorded although the seasonal temperature cycle typically peaks in July. August 2016 was 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean August temperature from 1951-1980.
(NASA Earth Observatory chart by Joshua Stevens, based on data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.)
"Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile," said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. "We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet."
Scientists at NASA's GISS carried put their analysis by assembling data from about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, along with ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn't cover enough of the planet.