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NASA: July 2016 Was Earth's Hottest Month in History

| by Sarah Zimmerman
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Earth just had its hottest month in recorded history.

July 2016 was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the 1950-1980 global average, reports ABC News. That's also 0.18 degrees warmer than the previous record, set in July 2011.

Scientists say climate change with the addition of natural warming from the departure of El Nino is to blame. These findings don't necessarily mean that July 2016 is the warmest Earth has ever been, but it is the highest temperature ever recorded since humans began tracking global temperatures in 1800.  

This is the 10th month in a row that has broken temperature records, according to ABC. 

"The scary thing is that we are moving into an era where it will be a surprise when each new month or year isn't one of the hottest on record," said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field.

2015 was recorded to have the largest annual increase of carbon dioxide in history, according to The Guardian. Climate scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that we are producing more greenhouse gases than the planet can absorb, leading to increased temperatures. 

Although the appearance of El Nino, which naturally changes global temperatures, is partly responsible for the record-breaking temperature, scientists predict its departure will not stop the planet from gradually warming. 

Climate scientist Kim Cobb told ABC News that "global temperatures continue to warm even as a record-breaking El Nino event has finally released its grip."

With rising temperatures, scientists hope that the public will begin to take note and actively want to combat climate change.

Currently, the Republican party platform denies the existence of climate change and is trying to reverse preventive measures instituted by the Obama administration, according to Scientific American. On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has not made climate change a priority and, if elected president, will only focus on small, legislative action.  

"The planet is getting warmer," NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said to ABC News. "It's important for what it tells us about the future."

Sources: ABC NewsThe Guardian, Scientific American / Photo credit: Flickr

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