Why it matters: Being first isn’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to climate temperatures. This past July scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded the highest average land and surface temperatures for the month of July since records began being kept 142 years ago.
July is typically the hottest month each year, but this past July clocked in as the hottest July on record with a combined land and surface temperature of 1.67 degrees fahrenheit (0.93 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average.
While the overall average surpassed recent highs, individuals in the Northern Hemisphere especially felt the burn, with land-surface temperatures recorded at 2.77 degrees F (1.54 degrees C) above average. These temperatures surpassed the previous surface temperature records recorded in July 2012.
NOAA administrator Rick Spinard, Ph.D., stated “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
Significant climate events in July 2021 – Graph
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NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), who is responsible for providing access to the country’s historic weather data, produces a monthly updated outlook for the global temperature ranking at the year’s end. Based on current data NCEI is virtually certain that 2021 will be a top 10 year for global temperatures.
In case you are looking for more ‘good’ news, NOAA also reported the fourth smallest Arctic sea-ice coverage in 43 years. Ten of the smallest sea ice extents reported for the Arctic have occurred since 2007. Arctic sea ice data is collected and provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
According to NOAA.gov climate data, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.