Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.
The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous hottest month on record was July 2016.
Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005—with the last five years ranking as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.
The period from January through July produced a global temperature that was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees, tying with 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record.
It was the hottest year to date for parts of North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the southern half of Africa, portions of the western Pacific Ocean, western Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Record-low sea ice: Average Arctic sea ice set a record low for July, running 19.8% below average – surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012.
Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the smallest for July in the 41-year record.
Some cool spots: Parts of Scandinavia and western and eastern Russia had temperatures at least 2.7 degrees F below average.
Matt Birnholz, MDPeer