With cities around the world experiencing record temperatures, the average temperature for the entire world in July was at an all-time high, too.
Global air temperatures reached a new high on July 3, surpassing a record set in 2016 and tying in 2022, according to multiple recent analyses, including from the University of Maine and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Since then, experts said, global air temperatures have continued to rise, making July 6 the hottest day on Earth since at least 1979, and very likely before that.
Although average global temperatures fell during the second week of July, they remained above the highest temperatures ever recorded before this year. The first two weeks of July were likely the warmest two weeks on record, according to an analysis by the Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Last month was also the warmest month, June Since at least 1850according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The extreme heat and record temperatures are driven by continued emissions of heat-trapping gases, particularly from burning fossil fuels, and in part by the return of El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern that tends to be associated with warmer years globally.
Scientists say the Earth has warmed by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and will continue to do so until humans essentially stop burning oil, gas and coal and stop deforestation. Warmer temperatures help make periods of extreme heat more frequent and more intense and exacerbate other extreme weather events such as persistent droughts, wildfires, heavy rains and floods.
Since these numbers represent global averages, the exceptional heat spells have been felt more strongly by parts of the globe.
Experts at the University of Maine note that warmer-than-usual winters across parts of Antarctica have contributed to the rise in global temperatures. The summer heat caught up in many parts of the world as well.
In the United States, the heat was particularly severe in the South and Southwest. The highest temperature on record in the United States on Tuesday was 122 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California, according to the National Weather Service. It hit Phoenix for the first time since 1974, 19 consecutive days when temperatures reached 110 degrees or more.
Elsewhere, central and southern Italy and parts of Spain have warmed under temperatures that have skyrocketed into the triple digits. At the Gulf International Airport on Iran’s southwestern coast, the heat index, which measures temperature by taking into account temperature and humidity, reached a life-threatening 152 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend, according to weather data.