Thanks to global warming it seems that the Earth has just had its 400th straight month of above average temperatures. In fact, the last time the temperatures were actually cooler than average, it was December of 1984, according to USA Today.
April of 2018 marked the 400th month in a row that Earth has seen temperatures that were above average, although there were still areas that did not follow this particular trend. This news comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and according to scientists, this streak is due to fossil fuels being burned, which in turn has caused climate change, specifically global warming.
Deke Arndt, a scientist who studies climate change with the NOAA, revealed that not only is the Earth continuing to get warmer, but it is “unequivocally, appreciably and consequentially warmer than just a few decades ago.” He says the fact that the world has just had its 400th straight month of temperatures that are above average is proof of climate change and global warming, but it is not actually proving anything new to scientists.
As CNN reports, the scientists who reported the news about the Earth’s current temperature streak “are not mincing words” when it comes to what is behind this trend. In fact, they are blaming humans for this continued warm up of the Earth. Of course, they did admit that there are natural causes for this climate change as well, although they do say that removing the “human factor” would actually allow for more variability, which means that rather than 400 straight months of above average temperatures, there would also be drops in temperature, according to Ahira Sanchez a climatologist from NOAA.
— NOAA (@NOAA) May 17, 2018
In order to determine that the temperatures are above average on Earth, scientists use a benchmark that is based on averages from the 20th Century. These numbers are “fixed in time” which allows for a more consistent set of data when it comes to comparing climate information on a monthly or yearly basis. This benchmark is also long enough to include a number of different cycles which will feature different climate variables.
When the scientists of NOAA say that the temperature is consistently above average, they are basing those numbers on temperatures from a period of 100 years, specifically between 1900 and 2000. However, no matter how they determined that the temperatures have been above average for a straight 400 months, what is most important is that every month for the last 33 plus years has seen numbers that are warmer than their established baseline.
On top of the 400 straight months of above average temperatures, the NOAA also shared that “18 of the warmest 19 years have occurred since 2000,” and while some of this is due to natural occurrences, the reality is this is mostly due to humans having an effect on climate.
While the Earth itself has been experiencing warmer temperatures month after month, North America has not actually been a part of this unseasonable warmth. In fact, North America has seen months that are actually colder than average, rather than warmer.
Although it does not sound encouraging to learn that the Earth has just “celebrated” its 400th consecutive month of above average warmth, this does not mean that there are not things people can learn from this reveal. Perhaps the most important thing is that humans are the main cause of the problem and in order to find a solution for global warming and climate change, people need to change the way they interact with the world around them.
Written by Kimberley Spinney
USA Today – Earth just had its 400th straight warmer-than-average month thanks to global warming
CNN – The earth has had warmer-than-average temperatures for 400 straight months now
Featured and First Inline Image Credit – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Flickr Page/Credit to CIRA- Creative Commons