The Earth sizzled in July, making it the hottest month on record in 142 years, according to the U.S. Weather Service.
When extreme heat hit the United States and parts of Europe, the global average temperature last month was 62.07 degrees (16.73 degrees Celsius), breaking the previous record set in July 2016 and setting records again in 2019 and 2020. Friday. The difference was only 0.02 degrees (0.01 degrees Celsius).
According to NOAA climatologist Achir Sanchez-Lugo, the last seven July’s have been the hottest on record from 2015 to 2021. Last month was 1.67 degrees (0.93 degrees Celsius) warmer than the average monthly temperature of the 20th century.
“In this case, the first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a news release.” This new record adds to the alarming and devastating path climate change has set the world on.”
“This is climate change,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.” It’s an exclamation point on a summer that has seen unprecedented heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods.”
Earlier this week, the prestigious U.N. science panel warned that climate change is worsening due to the burning of coal, oil and gas and other human activities.
Sanchez-Lugo said the warming of the land in western North America and parts of Europe and Asia has indeed led to record heat waves. She said she was alarmed by land temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, even though global temperatures barely exceeded record highs.
Sanchez-Lugo said temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were a third (0.19 degrees Celsius) higher than the previous record set in July 2012, which is a “large margin” for temperature records.
July is the hottest month of the year globally, and therefore the hottest on record.
One of the factors that helped the world get through the summer was a natural weather cycle called the Arctic Oscillation, a cousin of El Niño that is associated with more warming during its active phase, according to a National Ocean Service climatologist.
Even with a scorching July and a nasty June, this year so far is only the sixth warmest on record. According to Sanchez-Lugo, that’s largely because 2021 is starting off colder than previous years due to a cooling La Niña in the central Pacific Ocean, which tends to lower average global temperatures.
“One month by itself doesn’t mean much, but the fact that it’s a La Niña year, we still have the highest temperatures on record ……. That fits the pattern we’ve seen for most of the last decade,” he said. Donald Wuebbles, professor of meteorology at the University of Illinois.
While records were set all over the world for July, the United States shared only the 13th hottest July on record. While California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington had the hottest July on record, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire had slightly cooler than usual temperatures.
The last time the world had a July cooler than average 20th century temperature was in 1976, the last year the world was colder than usual.
“So if you’re under 45, you haven’t seen a year (or July) where the average temperature on Earth was below the 20th century average,” said Princeton University climate scientist Gabrielle Vicki.