September 2016 was the hottest September ever recorded according to researchers at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Data released by GISS show September 2016 beat out September 2014’s previous heat record by 0.004 degrees Celsius, which NASA called a "razor thin" margin. This marks the 11th month in a row of record-breaking temperatures since record-keeping began in 1880.
GISS analyzes data from 6,300 meteorological stations globally, including instruments in the Antarctic and at sea. The institute recently amended previous statements that June 2016 was the warmest June ever recorded, after reviewing data and coming to the conclusion it is the third warmest June on record.
The September findings are backed by measurements made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose data indicates the world has had 16 months of record heat by its records, reports Climate Central.
El Nino events have historically driven temperatures to record levels, but NASA reports global temperatures have continued to rise beyond the event because of overall warming that has taken place in that time.
"While the El Nino event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers," GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said.
Dr. Eberhard Faust, the head of Climate Risks Research for Munich Re, a reinsurance company that tracks natural disasters, told ABC News “climate change, which might be overlaid by annual fluctuations from year to year, driven by natural climate variability on various time scales," may have influenced the consistent increase in global temperatures.
Schmidt posted in a tweet on Oct. 17 that 2016 “seems locked in” to set a record for hottest year, it likely to end somewhere around 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit above the late 19th century average.
Schmidt told the Daily Mail, “The planet is getting warmer. It's important for what it tells us about the future.”