We just survived the hottest month in recorded history

It’s not all in your head; July was insanely hot.

In fact, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it was the hottest month since 1880 — the year we started keeping records of global temperatures.

July is usually the warmest month of the year, but this thing called climate change is exacerbating heat waves.

The report, released this month, shows that all of the globe’s surfaces — our oceans, mountains, deserts, and plains — had an average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit in July. This bests the last record, set in July 1998, and is about 2% warmer than the average global temperature for the entire 20th century.

Land surface temperatures this July were 1.73 deg F above the 20th-century average; Earth’s oceans were 1.35 F above-average. Unsurprisingly, July 2015 was also the highest sea-surface temperature ever recorded for any month in the past 135 years.

The graphic below helps put these details into perspective. Quite a few regions across the globe experienced record-breaking temperatures in July, while most of the planet saw higher-than-normal temperatures.

July 2015 temperatures NOAA
Many regions across the globe were warmer than normal this July. NOAA

As super-hot summers become the new normal, scientists are trying to parse how that heat affects us.

New research published (coincidentally) in July 2015 showed elderly Americans are more likely to die if they live in regions with higher-than-average temperatures; in fact, for every 1.8-degree-Fahrenheit rise in average summer temperature, the annual death rate was 1% higher than normal.

The ill effects of this summer’s steamy weather weren’t limited to humans. A study published in May 2015 found that climate change could cause 1 out of every 6 animal species to go extinct. Other research suggests hotter summers could bring an end of some of your favourite wines. Rising sea temperatures and extreme weather patterns are even driving up the costs of lobster, among other seafood delicacies.

These measurements fall on the heels of Obama’s initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions — the biggest contributors to climate change.

But those measures could take decades to merely begin to even out global temperatures. So until then, down a few cold brews and stay cool out there.

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