Did you notice something strange about this July? It was hot! Sure, July is supposed to be hot (at least for most of the world), but even by July standards it was hot. If you too have felt like this, you weren’t imagining things: the NOAA recently announced that this July was the hottest month ever recorded, and January-July 2015 was also record warm.
The July average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F (0.81°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest average temperature ever recorded in 136 years of observations surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). As July is climatologically the warmest month of the year globally, this monthly global temperature of 16.61°C (61.86°F) was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880. For Austria, where recordings began in 1767, it was still the hottest month ever, and this is not a freak event, it’s already a pattern.
The year up to date (January-July) is also on course to be the hottest year in recorded history with global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). Five months out of the seven have been record warm for their respective months. The ocean, as well as the land, was much warmer than they usually are.
These are not coincidences – they are the logical result of world-wide climate change. The globe is getting hotter and hotter, and whether we like it or not, we’re the ones responsible.
The scientific consensus is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (at least 95% probability) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. Despite the media portrayal of global warming, the science is pretty clear on this one.
Alexandra is a naturalist who is firmly in love with our planet and the environment. When she's not writing about climate or animal rights, you can usually find her doing field research or reading the latest nutritional studies.