July of 2021 was the hottest month in recorded history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The experts have determined that July was hotter than any month that has been documented in the last 142 years.
The scientists found that the combined land and ocean-surface temperature this July was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. This beat out the previous record (a three-way tie in July 2016, July 2019 and July 2020) by 0.02 degrees. The experts noted that 2021 will also rank as one of Earth’s hottest years.
In a statement, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said that in this case, first place is the worst place to be. “This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
A separate analysis from NASA, which was based on monthly surface temperatures, confirmed that the global average temperature for July was about 1.66 degrees above the 1951-1980 average.
According to NOAA, the land surface temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was 2.77 degrees above average in July. This is the biggest deviation that has ever been documented in July, when at least five heat domes plagued various regions of the Northern Hemisphere at one time.
July’s scorching temperatures included an extreme heatwave in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia that claimed the lives of hundreds of people and more than a billion sea creatures. Areas in Canada, Washington and Oregon – where the weather is typically mild – experienced record-breaking heat that persisted for days in late June and early July.
The “once in 10,000 years” event was caused by a heat dome, and scientists warn that these types of intense heatwaves are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change.
The NOAA data showed that Asia experienced its hottest July on record in 2021, while Europe experienced its second hottest July.