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It's Official, This Was the Warmest Summer on Record

Sep 19, 2014 11:51 AM EDT
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NOAA global climate data has revealed that this past summer was likely the hottest the Earth has experienced in more than 130 years. Interestingly, a great many regions are also reporting at least one record cold temperature during this season, showing just how complicated climate change is.

According to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center's latest state of the climate report, August 2014 alone was the hottest August seen on record since 1880, with the combined average global land and ocean temperatures proving 1.45 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the 20th century average.

While exact global temperatures are more difficult to track prior to the late 1800s, NOAA experts are still confident that this 2014 summer did indeed boast a global temperature average hotter than any summer season after the Industrial Revolution - when man began to influence the Earth in more severe and often adverse ways.

Stunningly, the report also adds that both the United States and Russia reported single days with both new record warm and cold temperatures for the summer season, while the United Kingdom and Australia saw the coolest Augusts on record since 1993 and 2006.

So what does this mean? NOAA experts are quick to point to changing trade winds over our major oceans. With cold and warm water currents changing due to things like heightened pace of glacial melt in Greenland and the Arctic, the pace of day-to-day weather is expected to drastically change.

In fact, last July the World Meteorological Organization made moves to increase the rate at which they update the definition of "normal weather" for different parts of the world, expecting the rate of unpredictable change to increase in the coming decades.

The NOAA also noted that while some regions could be cooling, the oceans are not - they climbed 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit above the last all-time record set just last June. This could explain why the net climate remains the highest yet, with 70 percent of the Earth covered by seas.

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