COLUMBUS (WCMH)—NASA reports that the first half of 2016 was the warmest half-year on record since at least 1880, continuing a pattern of warming on a global scale.
Every month so far this year through August 2016 has broken a record for the warmest, respectively, reported NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The average temperature was 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, compared to the late 1800s.
During August, Arctic sea ice dipped to the fourth least extent (in August) since satellite records commenced in 1979. (The all-time record low was set in August 2012.) Melting normally continues until mid-September.. At the current rate, total sea ice coverage could rank as the second lowest daily extent in the span of records.
An El Nino system, which brought historic warmth in the eastern tropical Pacific this past winter, undoubtedly contributed to the heat. At the current pace, 2016 is in line to exceed 2015 and 2014 for the warmest year on record, globally. The beginning of a cooler La Nina pattern this fall could tamp down the heat factor in the autumn.
In Central Ohio, we had an exceptionally mild winter, especially during February and March, but the spring and early summer were a little cooler than normal. The trend has shifted this month, with the recent warmth pushing readings a few degrees above normal, coupled with high humidity.