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July 2016 was Earth's hottest month on record

Last month was the warmest month since the late 19th century, according to data from NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
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NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science

Three independent agencies have confirmed July 2016 as the warmest month since they started keeping temperature records, the Weather Channel has reported. July is usually the warmest month globally, since the northern hemisphere has more land mass, and land heats up faster and retains more heat than the oceans.

NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies found it topped the previous warmest July on its record, 2011, by 0.1 of a degree Celsius, 0.84 degrees Celsius above average, making it the warmest since 1880. The Japan Meteorological Agency's found that it was the warmest since 1891, and the Copernicus Climate Change Service in Europe found that it was the warmest since 1979.

NASA and the NOAA announced earlier this year that 2015 had been the warmest year on record to date. Based on temperature graphs so far, climate scientist Gavin Schmidt believes there is a 99 percent chance that 2016 will top it.