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August breaks heat records across globe

17 September 2015, 19:18

Miami - Last month was the hottest in modern history, in the latest sign of an unusually warm year across the world's land and sea surfaces, US government scientists said Thursday.

Not only was last month the warmest August on record, "it was also the highest temperature for any month in the 1880-2015 record," said a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

August beat the previous record for hottest month ever, set in July 2015, by 0.07 Fahrenheit (0.04 Celsius).

When compared to months of August over the past 136 years, "this was the highest for August in the 1880-2015 record, besting the previous record set in 1998 by 0.23 Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius)," said the report.

The record continued a worrying trend of warming, which many scientists say is caused by fossil-fuel burning and is exacerbated by the presence of El Nino, which has a warming effect on some parts of the world's oceans.

"This was the sixth month in 2015 that has broken its monthly temperature record (February, March, May, June, July and August)," said the NOAA report.

Record-breaking warmth was seen across much of South America and parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Much of August's warmth was driven by the world's water.

"Large portions of the seven seas (where temperature records are available) recorded much-warmer-than-average temperatures, with some locations across all oceans experiencing record warmth," said the report.

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