The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has determined that July 2015 is the hottest month ever recorded by humans, according to their monthly report, which also states that 2015 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded. In addition to the revelations about the Earth’s rising temperatures, the report documents several climate anomalies which occurred in July 2015, including higher-than-average levels of sea ice around the Antarctic continent (likely calved off of the larger mass of ice by melting).
Not all of those anomalies involved high temperatures. In Australia, July is a winter month due to their location in the Southern Hemisphere. This July was brutal for Australians, bringing severe cold fronts and snowstorms to the area between July 11-17.
This July’s average global temperature, measured over land and sea surfaces across the globe was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit (16.61 degrees Celsius), beating out the previous record set in 1998 by 0.14 degrees Fahrenheit (0.08 degrees Celsius).
This warming is accompanied by troubling news for the polar regions of our planet. In the Arctic, where there is usually abundant sea ice, there was reported to be nearly 10 percent less ice than the 1981-2010 average. At the Antarctic pole, where land ice is the status quo, there was about 4% more sea ice than the 1981-2010 average, which may reflect increased calving of the larger land ice sheets into the ocean.
Read the full NOAA report here.