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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.


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