Did it feel hot to you last month? Blisteringly, oppressively hot? You weren’t imagining things. It was the hottest month on Earth since humans began keeping scientific records in the 1880s. In all likelihood, it was the hottest month since the last interglacial period ended 125,000 years ago.
That is according to NASA, whose preliminary data on July 2016's place in the climate science hall of fame and misery was promptly tweeted out by Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt. As you can see from that stray temperature anomaly line at the top of the graph below, no other year has really given 2016 a run for its money.
Globally, Earth’s surface temperature last month averaged 0.84 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the historic mean temperature for July. July, 2016 also pulled in 0.11 degrees Celsius warmer than July 2015, swiping the title of hottest month in recorded history. Although our planet has seen a seemingly endless string of record-smashingly hot months (14 according to NOAA, but who’s counting?) the hottest of the year always occurs at the height of the northern hemisphere’s summer.