LOS ANGELES - After a month of dangerous heat waves that impacted the globe, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday that July was officially the world’s hottest month ever recorded.
"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."
According to new global data, the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F, making it the hottest July since record keeping began 142 years ago.
Meanwhile, it was 0.02 of a degree F higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.
In the North Hemisphere, the land-surface temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, a whopping 2.77 degrees above average, surpassing its previous record set in 2012.
Regionally, Asia had its hottest July, Europe had its second-hottest month and North America, South America and Africa all had top-10 warmest months.
According to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, it’s likely that 2021 will also rank among the world’s 10-warmest years.
The new record is a reflection of the warming atmosphere and the impact on Earth’s climate.
Last month, sweltering weather impacted most of the lower 48 states in the U.S., triggering extreme drought conditions and putting multiple states in jeopardy of breaking more records. Millions of Americans last month were placed under excessive heat warnings and advisories.
"Scientists from across the globe delivered the most up-to-date assessment of the ways in which the climate is changing," Spinrad said. "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."
The deadly heat wave that roasted the Pacific Northwest and western Canada last month was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change, a new scientific analysis recently found.
An international team of 27 scientists calculated that climate change increased chances of the extreme heat occurring by at least 150 times, but likely much more.
The study, not yet peer-reviewed, said that before the industrial era, the region's late June triple-digit heat was the type that would not have happened in human civilization. And even in today’s warming world, it said, the heat was a once-in-a-millennium event.