The Northern Hemisphere experienced yet another record-breaking summer this year, with a total of 396 locations experiencing their highest ever temperatures, BBC News reports. Many of these chart-topping readings were recorded during the extreme heatwave that engulfed Europe in June and July, when hundreds of weather stations across France, Germany, and the UK saw the mercury rise to unprecedented levels.
Figures produced by climate institute Berkeley Earth, which gathers data from thousands of weather stations worldwide, indicate that more than 30 sites in the US also experienced their hottest day on record this year.
Between May 1 and August 30, locations across the Northern Hemisphere saw their highest ever temperature for a given month some 1,200 times, with new all-time temperature records being set in 29 different countries.
Berkeley Earth lead scientist Robert Rohde told BBC News that “some places in Europe have histories of weather observations going back more than 150 years, and yet still saw new all-time record highs.
"As the Earth warms, it has become easier for weather stations to set new all-time records," he added. "In the past, we would usually only see about 2 percent of weather stations recording a new record high in any given year. But, recently, we sometimes see years, like 2019, with 5 percent or more of the weather stations recording a new all-time record high."
Worryingly, this data is very much in keeping with a wider trend towards accelerated global warming, a result of human activity, with data showing that land temperatures worldwide have risen by 1.5°C (2.7°F) in the past 250 years, and 0.9°C (1.6°F) in the past 50 years.
The four hottest years in recorded history have all occurred since 2015, with 2016 being the warmest of the lot – and with July 2019 being the hottest ever month worldwide and last month being the warmest September on record, it is almost certain that this year will continue the trend.
Berkeley Earth’s analysis has concluded that the contribution of solar activity to global warming is negligible, and that these rising temperatures are directly correlated with increases in human greenhouse gas emissions.
Accordingly, a separate report into this summer’s extreme European heatwave concluded that human activity enhanced temperatures by between 1.5 and 3°C (2.7 and 5.4°F) during the hot spell.
Southern Hemisphere, it’s over to you…