Last July was a month for the history books: Never before had humankind experienced a hotter month, on average.
Generally speaking, July is usually the hottest month of the year, but July 2015 was exceptional. Many places across the globe reached record-breaking temperatures while most other places were warmer than average:
By combining the temperatures recorded across the globe — both above land and water — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determined that the average temperature for July 15 was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest month on a global average scale since records began in January 1880.
That’s 1.46 degrees warmer than the average July temperature for the 20th century: 60.4 degrees F. Though that might not seem like much, it is significantly larger than the difference in average July temperatures between the 19th and 20th century:
Some places around the world have records dating back even farther than 1880, which were shattered by last month’s heat. For example, in Austria the average temperature for July was 5 degrees F higher than the average they recorded between 1981-2010. It was also the hottest July on record since 1767.
These sorts of temperatures, and the weather that follows, don’t come without consequences. Check out this graphic showing some of the anomalies across the globe that took place last July, such as Typhoon Nangka that damaged nearly 220 homes in Japan:
Other places, like in Europe, Sweden, Germany, and the southern UK recorded some of the highest temperatures on record for a single day, but did not have an exceptionally hot July overall. In fact, The Swedish town of Pajala had its coolest July since 1965.
It’s been one hot year
However, for most of the globe July temperatures are just the latest in an entire year of unusually warm weather.
“Five months this year, including the past three, have been record warm for their respective months. January was the warmest January on record and April third warmest,” NOAA stated in release.
The map below shows places across the globe that were warmer than past years between the months of January through July of this year. And the powerful El Niño conditions brewing in the Pacific Ocean are not supposed to help cool things down anytime soon:
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