The earth could be heading for its warmest year on record, meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Monday.
Last month was the warmest September in 135 years of record keeping, with the global average temperature 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit (15.72 degrees Celsius), the Associated Press reports. May, June and August were also record-breaking months.
NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden told AP it was “pretty likely” that 2014 would be the hottest year since measurements began.
The reason for the rise in temperature is partly due to a band of warm water that develops in the Pacific Ocean called El Niño. Other record-breaking years started off with El Niño, and meteorologists forecast one is likely to occur this year.
“This is one of many indicators that climate change has not stopped and that it continues to be one of the most important issues facing humanity,” University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles told AP.