CHICAGO (CBS) -- How hot was it in July? Well, it was hotter than ever before.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the global average temperature this July was the highest in any month in its records, which date back to the 1880.
July is also the fifteenth straight month the global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in 137 years, CBS News Correspondent Pam Coulter reports.
NOAA calculates that last month's average global temperature was 62.01 degrees. That beats the old record set in July 2015 by a ninth of a degree and is 1.57 degrees above the 20th-century average.
July, climatology speaking, is the warmest month of the year; however, this year when we compare all the absolute temperature, July 2016 was the highest temperature we observed ever, said Ahira Sanchez-Lugo, NOAA climatologist.
January through July is also beating out 2015 for hottest year-to-date by .34 degrees.
"I think it is very likely that 2016 will surpass 2015 as the hottest year," Sanchez-Lugo said. "But we cannot confirm that until January 2017."
July was not the only the hottest month in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping, artic sea ice continued to shrink.
Officials said the average sea ice extent was 640,000 square miles, which sounds like a lot, but it's about 17 percent below the 30-year average ending in 2010.
It's the third smallest July expanse of sea ice, since record keeping began in 1979.
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