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Earth breaks September heat record, may reach warmest year

AP Science Writer

Earth sweltered to a record hot September last month, with U.S. climate officials saying there’s nearly a two-to-one chance that 2020 will end up as the globe’s hottest year on record.

Boosted by human-caused climate change, global temperatures averaged 60.75 degrees last month, edging out 2015 and 2016 for the hottest September in 141 years of recordkeeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday. That’s 1.75 degrees bove the 20th century average.

This record was driven by high heat in Europe, Northern Asia, Russia and much of the Southern Hemisphere, said NOAA climatologist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo. California and Oregon had their hottest Septembers on record.

Earth has had 44 straight Septembers where it has been warmer than the 20th century average and 429 straight months without a cooler than normal month, according to NOAA. The hottest seven Septembers on record have been the last seven.

That means “that no millennial or even parts of Gen-X has lived through a cooler than normal September,” said North Carolina state climatologist Kathie Dello, herself a millennial.

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