Sea-surface temperatures worldwide have been the hottest on record over the last three months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Ocean temperatures averaged 62.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the June-August period, 1.04 degree higher than normal for the period. But they are definitely not the warmest they’ve ever been. The warmest sustained ‘greenhouse’ period on Earth occurred around 53 million years ago. At that time, alligators lived as far north as the Arctic, and palm trees grew in the Rocky Mountains. Reconstructions have shown that there were no significant polar ice caps, and greenhouse gas concentrations were several times higher than today.
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