Last Month Was the Hottest in Recorded History, Again

Photo: Jonathan Alcorn/AFP/Getty Images

August was the hottest month on Earth, since record keeping began in 1880. So was July.

The past two months both posted historically hot global temperatures, NASA announced in a news release Monday. That finding is the latest in an ever-growing list of signs that humanity should really try to put less carbon in the atmosphere.

This past June was the hottest June on record. May was the hottest May. Ditto for April — and each of the 11 preceding months. By the end of the year, 2016 will likely be the hottest year on record. As was 2015. And 2014.

If 2016 proves to be record-breaking, El Niño will have played a role. This year’s patch of warm Pacific Ocean water is unusually large — but it still isn’t the biggest El Niño on record. So if it weren’t occurring beneath an atmosphere grown ever more thick with the refuse of industrial civilization, we wouldn’t be seeing these kinds of temperatures.

But at least there is bipartisan consensus that limiting carbon emissions should be a top public-policy priority.

Or, okay. Maybe the current GOP nominee thinks the Chinese government commissioned this blog post — but eventually the Republican Party will be forced to forfeit its aversion to government regulation in the face of the public’s recognition that climate change is the greatest threat facing our country.

Well. All good things must end.

Last Month Was the Hottest in Recorded History, Again