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Earth sets 9th straight monthly heat record

Swimmers and sunbathers gather at Redondo Beach, Calif., on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, as Southern California baked in summer-like heat. (John Antczak / Associated Press)
Swimmers and sunbathers gather at Redondo Beach, Calif., on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, as Southern California baked in summer-like heat. (John Antczak / Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – The January figures are in, and Earth’s string of hottest-months-on-record has now reached nine in a row. But NASA said January stood out: The temperature was above normal by the highest margin of any month on record.

NASA said January 2016 was 2.03 degrees above normal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures differently, said January’s average global temperature was a record 55.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.87 degrees above normal. NOAA says this was above normal by the second biggest margin in history; the greatest was this past December.

NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt blamed the record heat mostly on man-made climate change, with an assist from El Nino.

Records go back to 1880.


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