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.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “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.”
“This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
The combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.01C higher than the 2016 record. In the Northern Hemisphere, the land-surface temperature reached an “unprecedented” 1.54C higher than average, surpassing a previous record set in 2012.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
At least five heat domes descended on various parts of the hemisphere at once, resulting in consecutive days of stagnant, sweltering heat. Asia saw its hottest July on record (surpassing a previous record set in 2010), while Europe saw its second-hottest July (trailing behind July 2018).
Record high temperatures were also recorded in the US, Canada, Turkey, Japan, Ireland, and many other jurisdictions. Earlier this week, a report from the United Nations said that climate change is having an “unprecedented” impact on the earth, with some changes likely to be “irreversible for centuries to millennia.”
UN Secretary General António Guterres said that the findings were “a code red for humanity.”
“If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses,” he said. The authors of the report said that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years.