Every week, it seems, one climate record or another is broken. But this week has been brought especially bad news for our planet.
This summer, sea surface temperatures overall were hotter than ever in recorded history, according to research published Friday. "This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded since their systematic measuring started," said Axel Timmermann, a climate scientist and professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Though the increase in surface temperature paused from 2000-2013—what was wrongly termed the Global Warming Hiatus—it's rising again, Timmermann found.
Meanwhile, as ThinkProgress notes, the Japan Meteorological Agency found that last month was the hottest October in more than 120 years of record-keeping. This comes on the heels of the hottest September, the hottest August, the hottest June, and so on...
But the heating oceans and atmosphere aren't the only causes for concern today: The journal Science reports that climate change will cause a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes in the U.S.
"With warming, thunderstorms become more explosive," explained David Romps, a climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "This has to do with water vapor, which is the fuel for explosive deep convection in the atmosphere. Warming causes there to be more water vapor in the atmosphere, and if you have more fuel lying around, when you get ignition, it can go big time."