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Heat wave in Shanghai
Image: Getty Images/AFP/P.Parks

August: 16th straight hottest month

September 20, 2016

Along with destructive flooding and oppressive heat, the planet had another record-breaking hot month. The Academy of Sciences penned a letter to the American government to tackle global warming properly.


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday, Earth broke another record last month with the hottest August ever recorded. The trend is also part of the hottest summer and year on record.

August 2016 was the 16th consecutive month with record breaking temperatures. The streak is "the longest such streak in the 137-year record," according to NOAA's monthly climate report.

The Earth also continued to lose sea ice. "The average Arctic sea ice extent for August was 23.1 percent below the 1981-2010 average," said NOAA.

The only parts of the planet that experienced “cooler-than-average conditions” were “limited to small areas” of the Pacific Ocean, southern Atlantic Ocean and southeastern Indian Ocean.

Say no to global warming

NOAA's report comes on the same day that 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including Stephen Hawking and 30 Nobel Laureates, released an open letter addressed to American leaders to not withdraw from an international agreement to stem global warming.

Physisist Stephen Hawking
Physisist Stephen Hawking signed a letter to American lawmakers to get them to be serious about global warming.Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Arrizabalaga

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) climate scientist Kerry Emanuel organized the letter in response to the Republican party platform that rejects the Paris climate deal reached in December. The letter says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's desire to withdraw from the Paris Accord would "send a clear message to the rest of the world: The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change."

"Everywhere we look we see signs that the climate really is changing. We're getting wake-up calls more frequently and we really have to do something about this," said Emanuel.

Wild weather this summer

Summer 2016 featured many extreme weather events around the world, resulting in billions in damage and much loss of life.

Severe flooding in Louisiana killed 13 people and resulted in approximately $15 billion (13.4 billion euros) in damage. Flooding also occurred throughout the summer around China's Yangtze Basin and killed more than 470 people and caused $28 billion in damages.

The southeastern United States experienced a dramatic heat wave, and Savannah, Georgia had 69 straight days of 90 degree Fahrenheit (32.2 Celcius) heat, and temperatures in Kuwait and Iraq hit 129 degrees Fahrenheit in July.

Germany was also hit by devasting floods that resulted in millions of euros of damage.

kbd/ls (AFP, AP)

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