Beachgoers create a forest of umbrellas as thousands seek refuge in Santa Monica with temperatures reaching triple digits and beyond in August.
CNN  — 

If you thought it’s been hotter than usual, you would be correct, because the Northern Hemisphere just had its hottest summer on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that not only was it the hottest summer, but it was the globe’s third hottest three-month season on record and August was the second-hottest month ever.

A map of the world plotted with some of the most significant weather and climate events that occurred during August 2020. For more details, see the NOAA report at

NOAA’s monthly global report said that August 2020 was only behind August 2016 as the hottest month on record.

However, when it comes to the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a different story. August 2020 beat August 2016 as the hottest month ever recorded with a temperature average of 2.14 degrees Fahrenheit over the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

Globally, the top 10 warmest Augusts have all occurred since 1998, according to the agency.

Record temperatures contribute to higher environmental impacts

The extreme temperatures are particularly concerning when it comes to environmental impact.

“While human-caused climate change is happening in all parts of the globe and at all times — the impacts are particularly dangerous in the Northern Hemisphere during its summer,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

Miller added that it is no coincidence that California, Oregon and Washington are having record-shattering fire years in the year that the Northern Hemisphere temperatures are at their hottest.

“That is because climate change is making heat waves hotter and more frequent. Rising temperatures are making droughts and fires more widespread. And the Northern Hemisphere has a large majority of the Earth’s land and population. So the worst impacts tend to occur during the time when the Northern Hemisphere temperatures are the highest,” he said.

Also of note, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, which occurs at the same time, was the third-warmest in the entire 141 year record.

NOAA said that year to date, January to August, was the second-hottest for the globe, behind 2016. Statistical analysis done by National Centers for Environmental Information scientists indicates that 2020 is very likely to rank among the five-warmest years on record.