July 2021 was the warmest month ever recorded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Friday as concerns continue to mount over the ravaging effects of climate change.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
Combined surface and water temperatures were 0.93C (1.67F) above 20th century averages for July, and was the hottest measured since records began 142 years ago. It was also 0.01C (0.02F) hotter than the previous record established in July 2016.
That record was tied from 2019-2020 before being eclipsed this year, and July's data puts 2021 on track to be one of the 10 hottest years ever recorded.
The UN warned on Monday that the Earth is undergoing irreversible and unprecedented change from global warming, with effects touching every corner of the planet.
The report projects that in the coming decades, climate changes will increase in all regions.
For 1.5C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons, and changes in precipitation patterns affecting floods and droughts.
At 2C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report said.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “a code red for humanity," urging "stepped-up efforts."
"The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk," he said.