What to Know
- Meteorologists confirm that July 2019 beat out July 2016 as the hottest month on record.
- July saw massive heat waves in North America and Europe, the loss of 217 billion tons of ice in Greenland, and wildfires.
- The Copernicus report also stated that this month was close to 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
Meteorologists say July 2019 has beat out July 2016 as the hottest month on record.
The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service released global average temperature data showing that July 2019 was 0.04 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record hottest month, July 2016. July’s record follows the hottest June ever.
“July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level,” said World Meteorological Organization secretary-general Petteri Taalas in a statement. “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.”
It is important to note that July 2016’s high temperatures followed an exceptionally strong El Niño event, which is characterized by warmer ocean temperatures than usual. 2019 had no such unusual event to blame its record temperatures on -- though there was an El Niño event this year, it wasn't nearly as strong.
“Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Copernicus report also stated that this month was close to 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level -- only 0.3 degrees below the increase limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.