July is the hottest month of earth ever recorded, beating the record set only three years ago. It also comes after June was recorded as the hottest June ever.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on August 2, 2019

If you felt the weather was a little warmer than normal in July and you saw the pictures of the land on fire in parts of Europe and the ice melting in Greenland, you might suspect this.

July is the hottest month of earth ever recorded, beating the record set only three years ago. It also comes after June was recorded as the hottest June ever.

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Global average temperatures for July are on par with and possibly higher than those in July 2016, when the planet experienced extreme warming, according to preliminary data for July 1-29 released by the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, known as C3S, which analyses temperature data from around the planet. The final data will be released on Monday.

The latest figures are particularly significant because July 2016 was during one of the strongest occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon, which contributes to heightened global temperatures. Unlike 2016, 2019 has not been marked by a strong El Niño.

“We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, announcing the data in New York.

“All of this means that we are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record. This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting,” Guterres said.

“Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win,” he underlined.

Freja Vamborg, senior scientist at Copernicus, which is a part of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said the global average temperature for July 1-29 is estimated at 16.6 degrees Celsius (61.88 degrees Fahrenheit), rivalling the July 2016 record of 16.67 degrees Celsius (62 Fahrenheit).

Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, said this July has “rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at the local, national and global level,” CNN reported.

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The July record follows a period of extremely hot weather around the globe.

Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom saw new national temperature records on 25 July, as weather maps were redrawn to include – for the first time – temperatures of above 40°C. Paris recorded its hottest day on record, with a temperature of 42.6°C at 16:32, an unprecedented high since the beginning of measurements.

The heatwave was caused by warm air coming up from North Africa and Spain and this was then transported from Central Europe to Scandinavia, Norway saw new station records on 27 July, and 28 locations had “tropical nights” above 20°C. The Finnish capital Helsinki set a new station record of 33.2°C on 28 July and in the south of Finland, Porvoo saw a temperature of 33.7°C.

The anomalously high temperatures are expected to enhance melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which already saw an extensive melt episode between 11 and 20 June. The persistent high melt and runoff in the past few weeks means the season total is running near to the 2012 record high loss, according to Polar climate scientists monitoring the Greenland ice sheet.

The station Nord, situated 900 kilometres from the North Pole, measured a temperature of 16°C and in western Greenland, the station of Qaarsut (near 71°N) recorded a temperature of 20.6°C on 30 July. At Summit Camp station, at the peak of the ice sheet and at an altitude of 3200m, a temperature of 0.0°C was measured.

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“It is important to remember that any given day or year, Greenland ice sheet surface mass budget is a result largely of weather, though with the background climate trend affecting this,” tweeted Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute.

“This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now, and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action. Time is running out to rein in dangerous temperature increases with multiple impacts on our planet,” Taalas stressed.

The July temperature is about 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Copernicus Climate Change Programme stated.

According to Copernicus Climate Change Programme, April, May and July all ranked among the warmest on record for those months, and this June was the hottest June ever.

This means we are rapidly approaching the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees, which will precipitate the risk of extreme weather events and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned last year that we have until 2030 to avoid such catastrophic levels of global warming and called on governments to meet their obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement.