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July 2016 becomes the world's hottest month on record - 17th August


The new record shows the challenges global warming will bring.  

NASA data shows July 2016 was the world's hottest month since records began in 1880.  The results, combining sea surface temperature and air temperature on land, show July was 0.84C hotter than the 1951 to 1980 average and 0.11C hotter than the previous record set in July 2015.  This news has raised fears that 2016 will break records as the hottest year since records began.

Climate scientists and politicians face the challenge of linking changes in global averages to changing weather patterns at home that may or may not appear to reflect the worldwide data.

Individual areas of extreme weather cannot be directly linked to global warming even as overall temperatures rise, but they do provide an indication of the challenges to come in a hotter world.

Jos Lelieveld, atmospheric researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry warned that large areas of the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that they would be virtually uninhabitable for human beings and could trigger mass movement of hundreds of millions of refugees.

Further to this, those most vulnerable to climate change threats of flooding, droughts and rising temperatures are least able to push for change.

This new record has given added urgency to calls for governments to deliver on commitments made at the Paris climate talks last year, limiting temperature rises to 1.5C.

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