Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

On Twitter, environmentalist Bill McKibben wrote that the latest data was "not cool in any way." (Photo collage: NOAA)

Hot Hot Heat: New Data Shows World is Baking in 2016

Too bad the GOP thinks climate change is just a big joke.

Deirdre Fulton

As the party of climate science denial convenes in Cleveland this week—minus the few Republicans who care about global warming—new data further confirms that the world is on fire.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) announced Tuesday that June 2016 was 1.62° F above the 20th century average, breaking last year's record for the warmest June on record by .04° F. This made June the 14th consecutive month to shatter records.

What's more, NOAA reported, the globally averaged sea surface temperature was at a record high for June as well as the year-to-date.

The agency compiled an image marking several additional "climate anomalies" in June:

(Image: NOAA)

Furthermore, also on Tuesday, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) noted that the six-month period from January to June 2016 was also the planet's warmest half-year on record, with an average temperature 2.4° F warmer than the late 19th century.

NASA also recorded that five of the first six months of 2016 also set records for the smallest respective monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979.

"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," said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year."

At Climate Central, Andrea Thompson writes: "While 2016 has gotten a boost from an exceptionally strong El Niño, the record temps are mostly the result of the excess heat that has built up in Earth's atmosphere due to accumulating greenhouse gases. That heat is raising global sea levels, disrupting ecosystems and leading to more extreme weather events."

Indeed, at a news conference on Tuesday, GISS director Gavin Schmidt said that while El Niño could be blamed for about 40 percent of the record warmth, "60 percent is due to other factors."

Meanwhile, the U.S. is bracing for an imminent heat wave, with Weather Underground blogger Bob Henson warning that "[i]f the scorching weather persists into August, the odds of a 'flash drought' in the nation's heartland will rise sharply (along with the odds that the U.S. will notch its hottest summer on record, in line with what's very likely to be Earth's warmest year on record)."

Too bad the GOP thinks climate change is just a big joke.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Judge's Ruling Puts New York Gun Control Efforts on Path Back to Supreme Court

"Judges award themselves maximal protection against guns and then tell parents around the country that they have no power to keep guns out of daycare," said one critic.

Julia Conley ·


'Next Up? Legalize It': Advocates Cheer Biden Move to Pardon Marijuana Convictions

"This is what pressure and advocacy look like," said anti-poverty activist Joe Sanberg. "This must be the first of many steps to ending our decadeslong failed policies on marijuana."

Brett Wilkins ·


At Least 66 Clinics in 15 States Have Ended Abortion Care Post-Dobbs

Over a third of those facilities have fully closed, meaning patients also lost "access to contraceptive care, STI testing and treatment, and pregnancy care," said a Guttmacher Institute researcher.

Jessica Corbett ·


Fury Over Privatized Grid Grows as Tens of Thousands Still Without Power in Puerto Rico

Until the U.S. island's colonial status "is rectified," wrote one observer, "it's a safe bet that Puerto Rico will never fully recover."

Kenny Stancil ·


US Jobless Claims Jump as Fed Shoves Economy to 'Precipice of Global Recession'

One expert called on Powell "to think twice before plunging our economy into a wholly avoidable recession and completely undoing one of the strongest job recoveries on record."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo