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August ties July for hottest month on record

It just keeps getting hotter.

August tied July for the distinction of being the hottest month since recordkeeping began in 1880, NASA said in a release Monday.

And there's a good chance that 2016 will become the third year in a row of record heat.

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions and El Niño, a weather pattern that warms parts of the Pacific Ocean, have contributed to temperature increases in 2016, scientists said this year.

"But we've had El Niños before, they haven't given us the record-warm temperatures like this," said Gavin Schmidt, director for NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The records being set continue to stack up.

• August and July are now the hottest months on record.

• Every month since October 2015 has set a new monthly high-temperature record.

• The first six months of this year beat 2015 for the hottest half-year ever recorded.

• Both 2014 and 2015 set heat records, and 2016 is on pace to continue the trend.

Schmidt cautioned against putting too much significance on monthly rankings and emphasized that the long-term warming trend is more significant.

"This year really does stand out in comparison with all the other years," Schmidt said.