Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Scientists confirm July set new global heat record

Published:Friday | August 16, 2019 | 2:29 PM
In this file photo dated Thursday, July 25, 2019, a bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, FILE)

BERLIN (AP) — July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880, the latest in a long line of peaks that scientists say backs up predictions for man-made climate change.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that July was 0.95 degrees Celsius (1.71 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 20th century average of 15.8 C (60.4 F) for the month.

Because July is generally the warmest month on the calendar, meteorologists say this means it also set a new all-time monthly record for the past 140 years.

Last month’s temperatures narrowly topped the previous July record, set in 2016, by 0.03 C (0.05 F).

The results had been expected after several European countries including France, Belgium and Germany reported that July smashed previous national temperature records.

The Swedish hamlet of Markusvinsa recorded a sizzling 34.8 C (94.6 F), the highest temperature measured north of the Arctic Circle.

According to agency’s records, 9 of the 10 hottest Julys on record have occurred since 2005 and last month was the 43rd consecutive July above the 20th-century average.

The record temperatures notched up in July were accompanied with other major landmarks.

Average Arctic sea ice, for example, was almost 20% below average in July, less even than the previous historic low of July 2012.

The July peaks came hot on the heels of a sizzling June, which ended up being the hottest June recorded over the past 140 years.

The year to date is also 0.95 C (1.71 F) above the long-term average, still slightly behind 2016 and on a par with 2017, NOAA said.

Meteorologists expect 2019 won’t beat the current record for the warmest year, set in 2016.

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