"We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather's summer." That's what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters last week, and on Monday, final data came in to verify his assertion. The EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service confirmed preliminary data that had named July 2019 as the hottest month ever recorded on Earth since such recordings started more than 100 years ago, per the Washington Post. With a global temperature that was "close to 1.2 [degrees] Celsius" above preindustrial levels, last month just beat out July 2016, by about 0.04 degrees Celsius.
"It is now confirmed that July was … an exceptional month," the climate agency notes. That means 2019 may be one of the hottest years ever, with the last five years almost assuredly ranking as the warmest five-year stretch on record as well. "July has rewritten climate history," a World Meteorological Organization rep says. "This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change." (Read more global temperatures stories.)