NASA experts revealed that July 2023 was not only the warmest July on record, but also the hottest month ever recorded.
A temperature anomaly map developed by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) scientists shows how hot the earth was compared to the global average temperature for July. July was 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the average of all Julys between 1951 and 1980, and 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than any other July since 1880.
The map shows where parts of the world experienced the most extreme heat, with darker red spots measuring 7 degrees Fahrenheit over the monthly norm. South America, North Africa, North America, and the Antarctic Peninsula are among the worst-affected regions. Antarctica’s sea ice also suffered, falling 15% below average for this time of year, making it the lowest level in July since records began in 1979.
Increased heat can cause more severe drought conditions, exacerbating wildfires like those witnessed this month in Hawaii and Canada.
“This July was not only warmer than any previous July; it was the warmest month in our record, dating back to 1880,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said in a NASA statement.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, discovered that worldwide average sea surface temperatures were 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 1991-2020 average.
Ocean temperatures in the Pacific can be caused by El Nio (a warm phase of a climate pattern over the tropical Pacific), however the effects of the currently forming El Nio have yet to be seen, implying that the seas will heat up considerably more when it occurs.
“The effects of El Nio on global temperatures normally have a several-month lag and are felt in the winter and spring,” Schmidt said in a GISS statement. “Even though we have an El Nio developing now, the record warmth we are experiencing is not yet significantly related to that.” The developing El Nio is expected to have the most impact in February, March, and April 2024.”
According to GISS temperature anomaly data, the top five hottest Julys since 1880 have all occurred in the last five years as a result of climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions.
“The science clearly shows that this isn’t normal. The alarming global warming is being caused mostly by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. “And that rise in average temperatures is fueling dangerous extreme heat here at home and around the world,” Schmidt said in a NASA statement.
“In every corner of the country, Americans are right now experiencing firsthand the effects of the climate crisis, underscoring the urgency of President Biden’s historic climate agenda,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, referring to the Biden administration’s goal of reducing US emissions by 50-52 percent by 2030.
“The science is unequivocal. “We must act now to protect our communities and our planet because it is the only one we have,” Nelson added.