Our planet Earth just witnessed the hottest summer on record. And last month was the hottest August ever. If this trend continues, 2014 will be the warmest year since scientists began monitoring temperature data in 1880, according to the National Climate Data Center. The combined land and ocean temperature for our planet during June-August period was 1.28 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th-century average of 61.5 degrees.

Earth Witnesses The Hottest Summer On Record

NCDC’s summer temperature data in line with that of Japanese agency

Scientists said August was 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th-century average of 61.45 degrees. Year-to-date, 2014 is the third hottest year on record, fueled largely by warmth in the oceans. The only land area on Earth cooler than average this year was eastern and central United States. This summer, June was also the warmest ever, while July went down as the fourth-warmest on record.

Chances are 2014 could be the hottest year for the globe. But scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned against drawing conclusions. Last month marked the 354th consecutive month and 38th consecutive August with the average temperature higher than the 20th-century average. The National Climate Data Center’s report on Thursday dovetails with previous reports released earlier this week by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

2014 could be the hottest year ever

In the U.S., most states west of the Rocky Mountains had hotter summers than average. The central U.S. was particularly cooler. Twenty-two states from Pennsylvania to Wyoming experienced below average summer temperatures. The temperature information comes from over 130 countries. Ocean temperature data comes from ships at sea and a battery of buoys across the globe.

From January through August, the combined land and ocean temperature was 1.22 degrees higher than the 20th-century average of 57.3 degrees. If the last four months of 2014 rank within their top five hottest, this year will surely dethrone 2010 as the hottest year on record since 1880. Global warming is contributing to the temperature rise at an alarming rate.