We’ve broken an incredible record in 2015, but it’s not one we should be proud of. According to the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the first six months of 2015 were the warmest six months across land and ocean surface in our recorded history of Earth.
“The average global sea surface temperature of +0.65°C (+1.17°F) for the year-to-date was the highest for January–June in the 136-year period of record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F),” says the NOAA. “The average land surface temperature of +1.40°C (2.52°F) was also record high, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.13°C (0.23°F).”
These record-breaking temperatures have resulted in catastrophes around the world, including torrential downpours in Tbilisi, Georgia which led to 19 deaths and the destruction of a local zoo. Californians have been experiencing a disaster on the opposite end of the spectrum as the effects of the drought continue to worsen.
As for reversing this terrifying trend, the international community is preparing to meet in December for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, during which world leaders will decide the best course of action to limit greenhouse gas emissions.