13 September 2016
NASA announced Tuesday that August 2016 was the hottest August ever measured on Earth, with records going back to 1880. It also ties July for the hottest month ever measured. Much of the Northeast U.S. also had the hottest August on record as well. It is now virtually certain that 2016 will pass 2015 as the hottest year on record. Notice in the image below how much hotter 2015 was than the other years, and now 2016 will beat it!
It now looks as if there will not be a La Nina this winter, which would have cooled us back a bit, so the incredible warmth of the planet is likely to continue.
In the Arctic, the sea ice is now at its 4th lowest on record. Here is an update from the Nat. Snow Ice Data Center:
Average sea ice extent for August 2016 was 5.60 million square kilometers (2.16 million square miles), the fourth lowest August extent in the satellite record. This is 1.03 million square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average for the month and 890,000 square kilometers (344,000 square miles) above the record low for August set in 2012. As of September 5, sea ice extent remains below average everywhere except for a small area within the Laptev Sea. Ice extent is especially low in the Beaufort Sea and in the East Siberian Sea. With about two weeks of seasonal melt yet to go, it is unlikely that a new record low will be reached. However, since August 26, total sea ice extent is already lower than at the same time in 2007 and is currently tracking as the second lowest daily extent on record. In addition, during the first five days of September the ice cover has retreated an additional 288,000 square kilometers (111,000 square miles) as the tongue of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has started to disintegrate.