This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told The Huffington Post that while the agency's data does indicate that this August was the hottest on record, the difference falls within a few hundredths of a degree compared with previous Augusts.
Schmidt cautioned against focusing on any one month or year, but instead on the fact that "the long-term trends are toward warming." A very hot August, he said, is just one piece of the data that "point[s] towards the long-term trends."
Change in August surface temperatures from 1880 to 2014, in degrees Celsius. The number at the top right-hand corner is an estimate for the global mean change. Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
(h/t Greg Laden's Blog)