2016 Summer Nights Hottest in More Than a Century: NOAA

By on September 10, 2016
2016 Summer Nights Hottest in More Than a Century: NOAA

The summer nights of 2016 were the hottest in the last 121 years, failing to cool as much as normal due to humidity.

The nights over the summer had an average temperature of 60.8 degrees, which was 2.4 degrees higher than normal, reported USA Today. According to climate scientist Jake Crouch, the higher temperatures were a result of unusually high levels of humidity coming from the Gulf of Mexico.

Overall, the summer of 2016 was the fifth-hottest on record. The average temperature of the lower 48 states was 73.6 degrees, which is 1.5 degrees above normal, according to the NOAA.

Higher temperatures are often attributed to climate change. But climate scientists believe there might be different reasons for why nighttime temperatures appear to be rising faster than daytime temperatures.

One reason could be more clouds keeping hot air close to the Earth’s surface, reported Time. Another reason, as Crouch suggested, could be more humidity. But other scientists told Time that the increased humidity might be due to changes in agriculture that have led to more irrigation.

Although the nights are only a few degrees hotter than normal, the higher temperatures could pose risks to people susceptible to heat stroke because the evenings aren’t giving the same level of relief from the hot days.

“When it’s hot out, your body has to work pretty hard to keep itself cool,” Brooke Anderson, an epidemiologist at Colorado State University, told Time. “If it gets very hot at night and you continue to be exposed to it, your body does not get a chance to rest.”

Although a few degrees might not seem like a big deal, climate scientists say they are.

“People might think, ‘who cares about night? It’s cooler,’” said Ken Kunkel, a senior scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. “But don’t ignore the increase in night time temperatures … they matter.”

Eileen E. White

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  1. Rick

    September 10, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Since this planet Earth has been around 7-8 BILLION years, 121 years of selective temperature measurements is not even a blink of an eye. quit trying to make something out of nothing just to make a buck or to control people for no reason

    • Caela

      September 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Oh, you are one of those anti-science types, eh?

  2. Paul Anderson

    September 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    As a corn farmer, I am told by my agronomist that the warmer than normal nights put stress on the corn plants at a critical time and the ears did not fill all the way to the end as normal. This affected all of the northern corn belt. This could be more of a substantial loss than a drought or flood that only effects a small region of the corn belt.


    September 11, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Wonder how that translates this winter.

  4. mike

    September 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    thus this information directly contrast global warming! the earth also had a small ice age i you the term loosly however it was a global cooling event around the mid to late part of the 18 century look it up learn something, global warming is a haox perpatrated by our political friends who use scare tactics to part a fool from his money!

  5. b d

    September 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    just a few thousand years ago where I live in central US was covered with hundreds of feet of ice. Now that’s global warming!

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