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The San Joaquin Valley in #California - completely obvious from up here. (Photo & Caption: Reid Wiseman, NASA)

Earth smashed its heat record for the 16th month in a row


Apparently, Earth is once again hotter than ever. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday that August's temperature of 61.74 degrees was .09 degrees warmer than the old record that was set last year.

That makes August the 16th consecutive month of record-breaking heat. 

Climate scientist Ahira Sánchez-Lugo of NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information told USA Today that this month's warmth was fueled by a combination of the fading El Niño and the continued global warming trend. 

NOAA's report noted that August 1.66 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average. 

According to USA Today, climatologists define summer as the three warmest months of June, July, and August. 

It is plausible that this summer was the warmest in thousands of years, perhaps even longer.
Meteorologist Michael Mann told USA Today

Global climate records only go back to 1880 and according to NOAA's report, August was also the fifth hottest month on record, ever. 

This announcement comes on the same day 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences published an open letter to American leaders, urging them to not pull out of an international agreement aimed at curbing global warming. 

MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel said the letter was written in response to the Republican party platform that rejects the Paris climate agreement. 

"Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth's climate," the letter begins. 

Emanuel added that pulling out of the Paris accord "will accelerate our heading plunge into a riskier and riskier climate." 

The Big Sur wildfire in California is now the most expensive to fight in US history

For more news, check out tonight's 60 Second Circa. 

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