July 2021 has taken its place as the hottest month in 142 years of official record-keeping, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“The combined land and ocean surface temperature this July was 1.67°F (0.93°C) above the 20th-century average,” the Washington Post reports, citing NOAA. “This was 0.02 degrees higher than the previous record tied in July 2016, July 2019, and July 2020. The agency said 2021 will likely rank among the top 10 warmest years on record.”
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad. “This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
The Post notes that extreme heat “plagued the Northern Hemisphere” through the month, with the land surface temperature hitting 2.77°F/1.5°C above normal, the highest monthly difference ever recorded. The month brought five heat domes in different parts of the hemisphere, record high temperatures in Turkey, all-time heat records in Northern Ireland, and Olympic athletes sweltering in Tokyo.
“Heat waves also continued to bake the Pacific Northwest in North America, after the region hit all-time temperature records in late June,” the Post continues. “NOAA data showed Asia experienced its hottest July on record, while Europe experienced its second-hottest July. July 2021 ranked in the top 10 warmest for North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania.”
And “the heat hasn’t slowed down” this month, the paper adds, with a weather station in Sicily reporting Europe’s all-time high last week at 48.8°C.