Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

"While there may be a tendency to be complacent about the recurring record temperatures, with each month come more climate-related consequences that cannot be ignored, and they make for big news stories," writes Astrid Caldas of the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Photo: Francesco Bonito Oliva/flickr/cc)

'Climate Change Is Here': August Was Another Hottest Month for the Record Books

As one climate scientist noted, the temperature has risen even though this year's unusually strong El Niño is on the wane.

Deirdre Fulton

Another month, another temperature record shattered.

NASA data released Monday shows not only that last month was the hottest August since record-keeping started in 1880, but that it tied with July for the warmest month in the last 136 years.

According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, August 2016's temperature was 0.16 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest August in 2014. Last month also was 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean August temperature from 1951-1980.

(Credit: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

Notably, NASA points out, "the seasonal temperature cycle typically peaks in July."

But recent months have been anything but typical. "The record warm August continued a streak of 11 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 that have set new monthly high-temperature records," NASA said in a press release.

What's more, climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf pointed out on Twitter, the temperature has risen even though this year's unusually strong El Niño is on the wane.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will release its own August figures later this month. 

Regardless, Mary Beth Griggs wrote for Popular Science, "this heat streak continues to put 2016 in the running to be be the hottest year since 2015, which broke the record set by 2014."

And while the endless string of "hottest months" may induce fatigue among some observers, Astrid Caldas of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains in a blog post on Monday why the string of broken records is still "big news."

"While there may be a tendency to be complacent about the recurring record temperatures, with each month come more climate-related consequences that cannot be ignored, and they make for big news stories," Caldas writes. "From wildfires and droughts to devastating floods, climate change fingerprint is all around us and does play a role in making events more extreme. An example are the recent Louisiana floods, caused by intense rains which, according to the science of attribution, were at least 40% more likely to happen because of climate change."

"Climate change is here, its effects are being already felt in a variety of ways...and we do not need to wait years or decades to see its effects," she says. "We should heed the warnings and act now, investing in preparedness and emissions reductions, so as to minimize possible added (and maybe worse) future risks and impacts."


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

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo