Last month’s scorching weather has officially burned through the record books.
July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on the planet — so warm that it shrunk Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Thursday.
The average global temperature last month was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees for the month of July, the agency said in a statement.
The previous hottest month in the NOAA’s record was July 2016.
The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service made a similar declaration last week — adding that this record was achieved without a strong El Niño, the natural warming of the Pacific Ocean that boosts the Earth’s average temperature.
The strong El Niño accounted for the 2016 record, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the time.
Nine of the world’s hottest Julys have occurred since 2005 — with the last five years ranking as the five hottest globally, the agency said.
Last month was the 43rd consecutive July — and the 415th consecutive month — with above-average global temperatures, according to the agency.
The average Arctic sea ice level, meanwhile, reached a record low last month — running 19.8 percent below average and surpassing the previous historic low set in July 2012, the NOAA revealed.
And the average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3 percent below the 1981 to 2010 average.
The scorching July is only part of a record-setting summer — the previous month was the hottest June on record worldwide, according to the NOAA.
“July’s record temperature underscores the unabated pace of global warming seen even more clearly in the long-term data over the past several decades,” Climate Signals, a digital platform that maps the impacts of climate change, said in a statement.
“Human activities—primarily the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation—have caused the atmosphere and ocean to heat up.“