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Friday, December 03, 2021

Explained: July 2019 was the hottest ever month on record; what now?

July 2019 matched, and possibly broke, the record for the hottest month since analysis began.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 12, 2019 8:23:45 am
europe heatwave, europe weather, antonio guterres, united nations, united nations secretary general, un secretary general, world meteorological department, europe heatwave, europe weather, world news, Indian Express July 2019 was close to 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level.

This month, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that July 2019 matched, and possibly broke, the record for the hottest month since analysis began.

Trends: The finding emerged from analysis of new data from the WMO and the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. The previous warmest month on record was July 2016, and July 2019 was at least on par with it.

Every month in 2019 has ranked among the four warmest for the month in question, and June was the warmest June ever recorded, the Copernicus Programme said in a statement. July 2019 was close to 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level. The Paris Agreement set specific ‘temperature targets’ with a goal to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels; and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

Why it’s a concern: Exceptional heat has been observed across the globe in recent weeks, with several European countries recording temperature highs. “The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers. Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic for the second consecutive month, devastating once pristine forests which used to absorb carbon dioxide and instead turning them into fiery sources of greenhouse gases. This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

The statement quoted UN Secretary-General António Guterres as saying: “This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting.”

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