sunThe title pretty much says it all. You already know this article is about the hottest August on record, but did you know it follows the hottest May and the hottest June since records began in 1881?

It does indeed, according to NASA. However, it’s important to bear in mind that individual measurements do not signify “the new normal” for Mays or Junes or Augusts. Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has made this very clear in his explanation of 2014’s record-setting August. It’s more important to consider temperatures over the long term.

The August data comes from NASA’s Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index and, as Schmidt wrote in an email to Weather.com, the anomaly is 0.70ºC above the 1951-1990 baseline temperature average, putting it “basically in a statistical tie” with 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Considering that 13 of the last 14 years have been the hottest on record, that does tell us something about the planet’s long-term trend. Namely, it’s getting pretty hot.

This doesn’t quite jibe with Robert Murray’s opinion that the Earth has cooled over the last 17 years, but perhaps it may change his mind. Murray is the CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest privately-owned coal company, and is currently suing the EPA over its recent proposal to cut national carbon emissions by 30 percent.

“This is clearly an illegal attempt by the Obama EPA to impose irrational and destructive cap-and-tax mandates, which Congress and the American people have consistently rejected,” said Gary M. Broadbent, assistant general counsel and media director for Murray Energy. “These proposed rules will cause immediate and irreparable harm to Americans, including our citizens on fixed incomes and our manufacturers of products that compete in the global marketplace.”

According to Dr. Michael Mann, Penn State’s Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, the cost of inaction, of allowing carbon emissions to continue unchecked, will cause temperatures to rise even higher and put Americans into longer-lasting and even more disastrous peril.

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