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July Was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded on Planet Earth

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday informed the public that July of 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded on planet Earth since official record-keeping began in 1880.

Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

“July 2021 has earned the unenviable distinction as the world’s hottest month ever recorded, according to new global data released today by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information,” NOAA announced on its website.

“The combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees [Fahrenheit] (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago. It was 0.02 of a degree F (0.01 of a degree C) higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020. The land-surface only temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, at an unprecedented 2.77 degrees F (1.54 degrees C) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2012,” the agency explained, adding that “Asia had its hottest July on record, besting the previous record set in 2010; Europe had its second-hottest July on record—tying with July 2010 and trailing behind July 2018; and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July.”

Human activity – specifically the burning of fossil fuels – has caused average global temperatures to rise by 1.2 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. Nearly all of the world’s scientists are warning that unless we immediately cease dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, several additional degrees of warming are likely to manifest by the end of the century, which would render large portions of the Earth’s surface uninhabitable for most land life.

The unprecedented concentration of CO2 is also dangerously close to triggering irreversible positive feedback loops in Earth’s regulatory systems, leading to even more heating, extreme weather, wildfires, crop shortages, and other environmental disasters.

“In this case, first place is the worst place to be. 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,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

He also remarked on the apocalyptic five-alarm-fire report that was released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this week.

“Today, scientists from across the globe delivered the most up-to-date assessment of the ways in which the climate is changing. 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,” Spinrad said in a statement on Monday. “It is clear that inaction to mitigate climate change is making it worse. The impacts of climate change are being felt in every U.S. state, territory, community, and sector. People are in harm’s way, infrastructure is increasingly outdated and in many places not designed for the new environmental realities, and extreme weather events continue to occur one after another. We have a narrow window of time to avoid very costly, deadly, and irreversible future climate impacts. It is the consensus of the world’s scientists that we need strong and sustained reduction in greenhouse gases. Addressing the climate crisis is a top priority for the Biden Administration and NOAA is and will continue to support that work.”

Republicans, however, remain in denial.



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