Global North experiences hottest July ever recorded

The Northern Hemisphere has experienced its hottest July ever, surpassing its previous record high set in 2019, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Globally, July 2020 tied for the second-hottest July on record.

The combined land and ocean surface average temperature for the Northern Hemisphere was an unprecedented 1.18oC above average. The temperature rise, in this region and globally, is directly related to climate change caused by the human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

According to Penn State University meteorologist Michael Mann, “The trend of record heat continues, a trend which we’ve shown in past publications can only be explained by the warming impact of fossil fuel burning”.

The July 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.92oC above the 20th century average of 15.8oC, tying with 2016 as the second-highest July temperature in the 141 year record. The July 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was only 0.01oC shy of tying with the record warm July of 2019.



Record hot July temperatures spread across parts of southeastern Asia, northern South America, North America, as well as across the western and northern Pacific Ocean, northern Indian Ocean and parts of the Caribbean Sea. It was also record hot across a large portion of northern Asia, parts of Europe, China, Mexico, northern South America as well as the Atlantic, northern Indian and Pacific oceans.

July also saw the smallest ever Arctic sea ice coverage in 42 years of records, 23.1% below the 1981–2010 average. The National Snow and Ice Data Center found July’s Arctic sea ice extent was smaller than the previous record set in 2019 by 120,000 square miles, roughly equivalent to the size of Vietnam.

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