• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

September 2016 Was the Warmest on Record

This September was the hottest September since modern recordkeeping began, according to researchers at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

In addition, it was the 11th month of record-high temperatures in the past year, according to the GISS, which began collecting data in 1880.

With the exception of June of this year, every month since October 2015 has set a temperature record.

July and August of this year were the hottest months ever recorded. June 2016 was previously reported to have been the warmest June on record, but a GISS updated analysis showed that it was actually the third-warmest June on record.

GISS Director Gavin Schmidt stressed in a statement that "while monthly rankings are newsworthy, they are not nearly as important as long-term trends."

The GISS analyzes data from 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, including ship- and buoy-based instruments that measure sea surface temperatures and Antarctic research stations, in order to record Earth's temperatures.

Eberhard Faust, the head of climate risks research for Munich Re, a reinsurance company that tracks natural disasters, told ABC News today that there are several factors that may have influenced the past months of record-breaking temperatures.

One factor is the "global, long-term warming trend, which is driven by human-made climate change, which might be overlaid by annual fluctuations from year to year, driven by natural climate variability on various time scales," he said.

Faust added, however, that this trend "can only be seen in the long run."

A second factor may have been the past year's strong El Niño.

"Global mean temperatures are always pushed up by the warm ocean surfaces in the Pacific area," Faust said.

Some parts of the world this year experienced devastating extreme weather events, most recently Hurricane Matthew, which killed dozens of people in the U.S. and hundreds in Haiti. Many people, including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, linked Hurricane Matthew's devastation to climate change.

Faust told ABC News that "there is no conclusive scientific evidence as to the influence that climate change may have had on Hurricane Matthew. But definitely climate change can exacerbate extreme weather events."
Related Topics:
newsabc newsnational
(Copyright ©2016 ABC News Internet Ventures.)

Load Comments