The United Nations said temperatures were nearly half a degree above average last month, when the EU’s monitoring system recorded a record low amount of sea ice in Antarctica.
The United Nations weather agency said last month marked one of the three hottest July ever recorded, with global temperatures nearly half a degree Celsius (0.9F) above average.
Clare Nullis, a spokesman for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday: “The world has just experienced one of the warmest three Julys on record.
Pointing to new data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), she said that July 2022 was slightly colder than the same month in 2019 and slightly warmer than 2016.
“The difference between three months is too close to call, so that’s why we say one of the warmest three months,” explains Nullis.
Global temperatures last month were 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72F) higher than the 1991-2020 average, the WMO said.
And this despite the fact that the weather phenomenon La Nina, which has kept the earth almost uninterrupted since September 2020, “means a cold influence”.
Notably, the European summer saw extreme heat wave and drought, with record low rainfall broken in several countries, the WMO said.
July 2022 was the hottest month ever record in Spain, Nullis said.
In a month that saw temperature records broken across parts of Northern Europe and the UK, C3S said July was drier than average for much of the continent, recording several records for Low rainfall in some locations.
“These conditions have impacted the local economy and facilitated the spread and intense outbreak of wildfires,” it said.
C3S said July was also unusually dry over much of North America, South America, Central Asia and Australia.
Climate change makes extreme heat and drought more likely.
“We can expect to continue to see more frequent and longer periods of extreme heat, as global temperatures rise further,” said C3S Senior Scientist Freja Vamborg. “.
However, the service said last month it was wetter than usual in eastern Russia, northern China and in a large wet strip stretching from eastern Africa through Asia to northwestern India.
The agency said that despite the sweltering heat in Europe and elsewhere, July clearly did not break the previous month’s global heat record, as other regions, including along western India, Oceania and much of Central Asia and Australia, both have below average temperatures.
Antarctic sea ice is lowest in July
Meanwhile, C3S recorded the lowest level of Antarctic sea ice in July.
The monitoring service shows that Antarctic sea ice area reaches 15.3 million square kilometers (5.9 million square miles) – about 1.1 million square kilometers, or 7%, well below the average for the period 1991-2020 in July.
This was the lowest July ice cover since satellite records began 44 years ago, and was followed by a record low. Antarctic sea level in June too.
The service said in its monthly newsletter that the Southern Ocean saw “widespread areas of below-average sea ice concentrations” last month.
Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice cover is 4% below average, making it the 12th lowest July sea ice level on record.