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21st Jul 2023

July set to be the hottest month on record

Ellen Fitzpatrick

July is set to become the hottest month on record across the entire globe in “hundreds, if not thousands, of years”, NASA has said.

Leading NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt, made the comments are this month has seen extreme temperatures appear across Europe.

Daily records have been shattered according to tools run by the European Union and the University of Maine.

These combine ground and satellite data into models to generate preliminary estimates.

Speaking at a briefing with reporters, Dr Schmidt said that while they slightly differ, the trend of extreme heat is “unmistakable” and will likely be reflected in monthly reports.

He said: “We are seeing unprecedented changes all over the world – the heat waves that we’re seeing in the US in Europe and in China are demolishing records, left, right and centre.

“What we’re seeing is the overall warmth, pretty much everywhere, particularly in the oceans. We’ve been seeing record-breaking sea surface temperatures, even outside of the tropics, for many months now.

“And we will anticipate that is going to continue, and the reason why we think that’s going to continue, is because we continue to put greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.”

He also anticipates that 2024 will become warmer again, and his warning comes as Europe has been hit with dire health warnings and wildfires over the past week due to extreme heat.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Europe is now the fastest-warming continent and has been heating at twice the global average since the 1980s.

Ireland has become a much warmer and wetter country over the last 30 years, according to analysis from Met Eireann.

Looking back over the years 1991 to 2020, climate averages have shown that the average air temperature during that period compared to the previous 30 years was 0.7 degrees Celsius higher.