Anyone who used superlatives in describing the heat last month can be forgiven. July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday. The records date back 142 years, the Washington Post reports. "This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe," Administrator Rick Spinrad said. At this rate, the agency said, 2021 will be in the Top 10 for hottest years on record. The Northern Hemisphere especially felt the difference last month, with at least five simultaneous heat domes at once and a land-surface temperature 2.77 degrees higher than average. That's the largest difference recorded for a July. NOAA also reported that:
- July's combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average for the 20th century, which was 60.4 degrees, per CBS.
- The past five Julys have been the hottest ever, and nine of the 10 hottest Julys have been since 2005.
- Turkey, which is dealing with wildfires, has had record heat.
- Twice in five days, Northern Ireland broke all-time heat records.
- July was the 415th straight month when global temperatures were above average.
This month doesn't look any better. A weather station in Sicily recorded what may be an all-time record for Europe this week, 119.8 degrees. The July report "is an exclamation mark on a summer of unprecedented heat, drought, wildfires and flooding," a climate scientist said. A CBS meteorologist warned: "This is just the beginning. We will continue to systematically reach new unprecedented levels until we stop warming the planet." (A UN climate report
said immediate action needs to be taken.)