The Planet May Have Just Sweltered Through the Hottest Month in Recorded History
From heatwaves in Europe to toastier-than-usual winter weather in Sydney, July was a warm month.
August 03, 2019
Back in July 2016, Earth broke a record — one that the planet didn't want to break. Thanks to warming temperatures around the globe, this spinning rock we called home experienced its hottest month in recorded history. And, this past July, it looks like that benchmark has been surpassed again.
The World Meteorological Organisation has announced that July 2019 at least equalled July 2016's record, if not exceeded it. Compared to pre-industrial times, temperatures were around 1.2°C warmer. That mightn't sound like much of a difference, but the impact is being felt everywhere from Europe to Greenland to Australia. During an unprecedented heatwave late last month, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands all set new temperature records, while Paris experienced its hottest day ever. Ice sheets have been melting in Greenland at an advanced rate, wildfires have impacted areas of the Arctic and even Sydney endured its longest run of toasty July days.
With climate change continuing to show its effects, the news shouldn't come as a surprise. This past June also broke records, becoming the hottest June ever recorded.
As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted when he revealed the WMO's findings, "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."
The fact that this July's warmth occurred in a year that hasn't experienced the strong El Niño presence is also considered significant, with the phenomenon at one of its peaks when the all-time record first fell three years ago.
Locally, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that Australia was in for a warmer-than-average winter, which came off the back of a hotter-than-usual autumn, as well as the country's toastiest summer ever.