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July Was the Hottest Recorded Month on Earth

Scientists say the last 10 to 15 years have seen a "hiatus" in the rate of previously expected global warming, which they attribute to natural variations in the ocean. They believe though this pause might soon be up, at which point they say warming will accelerate again. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal officials say July was Earth's hottest month on record, smashing old marks.

July's average temperature was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous global mark set in 1998 and 2010 by about one-seventh of a degree. That's a large margin for weather records.

Image source: NOAA

Records go back to 1880, but nine of the 10 hottest months on record have happened since 2005.

The first seven months of 2015 are the hottest January-to-July span on record.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist Jake Crouch says it is quite likely that 2015 will end up the hottest year on record, beating last year.

Image source: NOAA

Crouch says this reaffirms that the Earth is warming, with a boost this year from an El Nino warming of the Pacific Ocean.

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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