NASA says August and July are the hottest months on record

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The sun is seen behind smoke billowing from a chimney of a heating plant in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in China on December 9, 2013. Photo by Stringer /REUTERS

The sun is seen behind smoke billowing from a chimney of a heating plant in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in China on December 9, 2013. Photo by Stringer /REUTERS

August has tied July as the hottest month on record, according to NASA.

NASA announced last month that July had broken record for the warmest month in the 136-year history of instrumental temperature recordings. Now, the agency says August has reached the same threshold.

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NASA said earlier this year heat that has permeated 2016 is caused by both the El Nino weather pattern and the underlying effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

NASA scientists also said while monthly records, like the one set in August, are important to note, they are only a piece of the larger picture.

“Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement. “We stress that the long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet.”

2016 is on pace to set a new heat record for a full year. If it does, it would be the third year in a row the annual heat record was broken since NASA started keeping track of such data in 1880, the New York Times reported.

The last 11 months have all set new monthly high-temperature records, and the first half of this year was an average 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the average temperature in 1880.

The post NASA says August and July are the hottest months on record appeared first on PBS NewsHour.