The US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Agency (NOAA) declared July to be the hottest month globally, highlighting what it called the “alarming trajectory” of a planet reeling from the effects of climate change.
“July is usually the hottest month of the year, but 2021 has been the hottest month ever,” said Rick Spinrad, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “This new record adds to the alarming and alarming trajectory that climate change has created for the planet,” said Spinrad, citing data from the National Environmental Information Centers.
The combined surface temperature of the Earth and oceans was 0.93 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 15.8 degrees Celsius, NOAA said, making July the hottest month since records began, in 142 years. The month was 0.01°C higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was equivalent in 2019 and 2020.
According to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, last month was the third hottest month of July on record. It is common for agencies to have slight differences in the data.
“NOAA has more limited coverage of the Arctic,” Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at the Breakthrough Institute and an expert in temperature records, told AFP, which may explain the difference.
The announcement of this record comes days after the publication of a new report by United Nations experts (IPCC), which showed that the climate is changing at a faster pace than feared due to human activity.
According to the report, global warming could increase by 1.5°C around 2030, 10 years earlier than expected, which could cause new, unprecedented catastrophes.
“Regardless of your exact order (in July), the warming around the world this summer is an obvious consequence of climate change,” Hausfather emphasized. “The extreme events we’ve seen around the world – from unprecedented heat waves to torrential rains and wildfires – are long-anticipated and known effects of a warmer world,” he said.
With the temperature rising by just 1.1°C so far, the world has been swept by a continuous series of deadly weather disasters, fueled by climate change. “And they will continue to get worse until the world reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases to zero,” Hausfather said.
IPCC experts say humans are responsible for climate change and must significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions if they are to limit the damage.
Calls for action are growing, and all eyes are now on Glasgow, where world leaders will gather in November for the COP 26 climate conference.
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