Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July expected to be the Earth's hottest month on record

Fueled by record-breaking warmth in Europe, the U.S. and the Arctic and supercharged by global warming, scientists say July 2019 will be the hottest month for the Earth since records began in 1880.
In other words, of the past 1,675 months since January 1880 – during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes – July 2019 will likely be the hottest.
Such extreme heat is a calling card of human-caused climate change: "Climate change made such a record hot month 'far more likely,'" Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann said in an email to USA TODAY.
The previous hottest month was July 2017.
A Capitol Hill police officer wipes sweat from his eyes as he stands his post on the West side of Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, July 20, 2019. The National Weather Service said "a dangerous heat wave" was expected to break record highs in some places, particularly for nighttime.
Susan Walsh, AP
Though final official data won't be available until early August, numerous scientists have weighed in with their predictions on Twitter:
"July is going to be the warmest month on record globally," University of Oklahoma meteorologist Jason Furtado said. "That is a big deal."
BAM Weather meteorologist Ryan Maue said, "July 2019 will be *hottest* month on record ... up my odds to 90% likely."
"Earth ... (is) on track for (its) warmest July," said Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
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According to data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, a trend that scientists have tied mainly to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, the Capital Weather Gang said.
Global warming, aka climate change, is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, which release heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
And 2019 is almost certain to end up as one of the three warmest years on record, NOAA said.
It's been a brutally hot summer around the globe. Europe suffered through an intense heat wave in late June that saw the highest temperature ever recorded in France. The extreme heat in Europe contributed to the Earth's hottest June on record.
And this past weekend, tens of millions of people across the United States were under heat alerts as temperatures in cities such as New York City, Little Rock and Memphis rocketed above 100 degrees.
Another heat wave is scorching Europe this week, and an all-time record high is possible in Paris and the United Kingdom on Thursday.
Heat waves are happening more frequently in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia, experts say. As the world warms, scientists say there will be more – and hotter – heat waves.
A team of European climate scientists did a quick analysis of Europe’s June heat wave and found man-made warming made it at least five times more likely.
“Either of the two European heat waves this summer would have been remarkable in isolation," Mann said. "But now we are seeing multiple episodes of record heat in a given summer. By mid-century, we will simply call these episodes ‘summer’ – if we continue on this trajectory."
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