If this doesn’t serve as a wake up call, it’s hard to imagine what will. NASA has announced that last month was the warmest September since global records have been kept. What’s more, the last six months were collectively the warmest middle half of the year in NASA’s records—dating back to 1880.

The record-breaking burst of warmth was kicked off by an exceptionally warm April—the first month in at least 800,000 years that atmospheric carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million. Followed by the warmest May on record. Followed by warmest June and August on record.

Meteorologist Eric Holhaus writes for Slate.com that a trend toward El Niño may be helping to spark a massive heat release from the tropical Pacific Ocean, boosting 2014 into front-runner position for the hottest year ever measured—a phenomenon that may stretch into 2015 as well. Nothing that recent research shows the current warm stretch is probably the planet’s warmest in at least 4,000 years, he suggests that global temperatures may have already passed a level that human civilization has never experienced.

For more sobering reality, read the article here.