July 2021 was officially Earth’s hottest month in nearly 150 years of recordkeeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Friday.
Combined land and ocean average temperatures were 1.67°F above the 20th century average, beating out by 0.02°F a previous record set in July 2016 and tied in 2019 and 2020. The past seven Julys, from 2015 to 2021, have been hotter than any previous July (often the hottest month of the year) going back through 1860.
In particular, the Northern Hemisphere suffered from extreme heat, including at least five heat domes, leading to a land-surface temperature of 2.77°F (1.54°C) above the average – the largest anomaly on record, NOAA found.
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”