Did you feel warm in July? You weren’t the only one. Latest figures show that July was the hottest month on Earth since records began in 1880. Now, 2015 is set to become the warmest year on record, researchers say.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) latest data show that the July average temperature was 0.81°C (1.46°F) above the 20th century average. The average temperature – 16.61°C (61.9°F) – surpassed the previous record set in 1998 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). That’s a huge margin in weather records. NOAA's latest figures add to the growing evidence that 2015 will beat 2014, which is currently the hottest year on record.
“The world is warming. It is continuing to warm. That is being shown time and time again in our data,” Jake Crouch, a physical scientist at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, told reporters in a press conference.
“Now that we are fairly certain that 2015 will be the warmest year on record, it is time to start looking at what are the impacts of that? What does that mean for people on the ground?”
Many countries experienced record-breaking temperatures in July. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.
Nine of the ten hottest months occurred in the last decade since records began in 1880. The first seven months of 2015 were the hottest January-July period recorded, NOAA said.
“While the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a key driver of rising temperatures, another important factor is El Nino. This natural phenomenon, which appears as a large swathe of warm water in the Pacific every few years, is known to push up global temperatures,” BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath explained.
There have been many record-breaking heat waves in the last few months. The report notes that Austria recorded its hottest July since national records began in 1767. The United Kingdom experienced the highest temperature recorded in the country since August 2003 at the beginning of July. The Netherlands also experienced abnormally hot temperatures in July.