The Hottest Year Ever: Breaking Records One Month at a Time


Hold on to your sunscreen, folks—2024 is officially the hottest year on record!

Imagine this: every single month for the past year has been hotter than any corresponding month ever recorded.

That’s right, from June 2023 to May 2024, we’ve hit record-breaking temperatures every single month.

The last time we didn’t set a new high was in May 2023. This isn’t just a random hot streak—it’s the longest we’ve ever seen.

Why So Hot?

NASA’s latest data confirms it: May 2024 was the hottest May in recorded history, capping off an entire year of unprecedented heat.

But why is it so hot? Well, the Earth is heating up fast, and it’s not just because we’re having a particularly sunny summer.

Normally, the northern hemisphere’s summer is warmer because land heats up more than the ocean. But add to that the heat-trapping gases we’re pumping into the atmosphere, and you’ve got a recipe for sizzling temperatures.

Throw in an El Niño event—a natural climate pattern that warms the Pacific Ocean—and we get the hottest northern hemisphere summer in 2,000 years. Yes, you read that right: 2,000 years!

What’s Next?

Now, the El Niño is fading, and experts are debating whether we’ll shift to La Niña (which tends to cool things down a bit) or settle into a neutral state for the rest of the year.

This could mean an end to our streak of record-breaking months, but don’t pack away your shorts just yet.

The previous record for the longest streak of hottest months was set in 2015-2016 with seven months. We’ve now smashed that record with twelve.

A Wake-Up Call

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson isn’t mincing words: “It’s clear we are facing a climate crisis,” he said.

Communities in America—from Arizona to California to Nevada—and across the globe are feeling the heat. NASA, along with the Biden-Harris Administration, is on a mission to provide crucial climate data to help protect our planet and improve lives.

For context, NASA measures monthly temperatures against the average from 1951-1980. Over the last 12 months, we’ve been a scorching 1.3°C (2.34°F) above that baseline.

That’s even above the 1.5°C (2.7°F) mark compared to pre-industrial levels, the limit set by the Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Director of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, predicts this record-breaking run might not last all year, especially if La Niña steps in. However, unless something drastic like a major volcanic eruption happens, 2024 is set to be the hottest year we’ve ever recorded.

“We’re experiencing more hot days, more hot months, more hot years,” says Dr. Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor. “These rising temperatures are driven by our greenhouse gas emissions and are impacting people and ecosystems around the world.”

So, What Can We Do?

The message is clear: our planet is heating up, and it’s happening fast. While the future might look uncertain, one thing is for sure—we need to act now to protect our home.

Whether it’s reducing emissions, adopting greener technologies, or simply spreading awareness, every little bit helps in our fight against climate change.

Stay cool, stay informed, and let’s work together to turn down the heat!