NASA study shows global surface temps are setting records in 2016

NASA is continuing to conducting its studies on two key indicators of surface temperatures around the globe. Those two key indicators are global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent. According to NASA during the first half of 2016, each of the six months set a record as the warmest respective month globally. Those records are compared to when the modern global temperature recording began in 1880.

The six month range from January to June was the hottest six month period on record with NASA recording a 1.3C (2.4F) average warmer temperature than when recordings started in the late 19th century. Out of that first six months of 2016, five of the months also set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since satellite surveys began in 1979. The only month that didn't break records for low sea ice extent was March, and that month recorded the second smallest extent.

NASA data shows that Arctic sea ice extent covers 40% less area than it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sea ice extent in September has declined at a rate of 13.4% per decade. "While the El NiƱo event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers," GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said.

NASA scientist Walter Meier says that the trend in global temperature rise is being outpaced by warming in the Arctic. "It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme," Meier said. "This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year."