The sweltering temperatures seen in July have made it the hottest month in nearly 150 years of record-keeping.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the average global temperature last month was 16.73°C—0.01°C higher than the old record set in July, 2016.
The rise was 0.93°C above the 20th-century average of 15.8°C, making July 2021 the hottest month since records began 142 years ago.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.
“July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
In the northern hemisphere, temperatures on land were an “unprecedented” 1.54°C above average, the NOAA said, surpassing the previous record set in 2012.
Asia recorded its hottest July ever, while Europe saw its second-warmest, tying with July 2010. North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania all had a “top 10” warmest July.
In the Arctic, sea ice coverage last month was the fourth-smallest for July in the 43 years records have been kept.
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Based on last month’s data, it’s “very likely” that 2021 will rank among the world’s 10-warmest years on record, the NOAA said.
The agency noted that the extreme heat is a reflection of the long-term changes outlined in a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on August 6.
“Scientists from across the globe delivered the most up-to-date assessment of the ways in which the climate is changing,” Spinrad said of the report.
“It is a sobering IPCC report that finds that human influence is, unequivocally, causing climate change, and it confirms the impacts are widespread and rapidly intensifying.”