Climatologist Is ‘99 Percent’ Sure 2015 Will Be the Hottest Year Ever Recorded

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Extreme Heat Grips New York City
Photo: Spencer Platt/2015 Getty Images

Were you embarrassed by the trail of sweat that followed you like breadcrumbs from a gingerbread house last month? Did you have to throw away the paperwork on your desk because of the temptation to turn it into a bonfire to keep you warm in the refrigerator that is your office? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration justified all of your strange temperature-related behavior today: July was officially the hottest month recorded since we decided to start keeping track of these things back in 1880. The previous record-holder was July 1998. 

Jessica Blunden, a climatologist at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, said today that she is “99 percent” sure that 2015 will be the hottest year ever, too — thanks to El Niño and climate change — breaking a record that was set … last year. 

July also happened to be the 365th consecutive month that featured an above-average global temperature.  

So what’s next? Jake Crouch, a scientist at NOAA, said today, “Now that we are fairly certain that 2015 will be the warmest year on record, it is time to start looking at what are the impacts of that? What does that mean for people on the ground?” One potential outcome is that it seems increasingly likely that future senators will have fewer opportunities to use snowballs in their floor speeches refuting climate change.