Scorching temperatures in July “at least equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday.
New data from the UN’s meteorological agency, based on the first 29 days of the month, show July 2019 may end up being slightly warmer than July 2016 — the warmest month on record.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Twitter that this year’s July had “rewritten climate history books.” And what’s more, it came after the hottest-ever June.
The July heat wave that gripped much of Europe set national temperature records in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It’s now moved north to Greenland, leading to a 10-15-degree spike in temperatures that is accelerating the melting of the island’s ice sheet.
“This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle,” Guterres told reporters in New York.
“If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg.”
The latest data from the WMO means the period from 2015 to 2019 is set to become the warmest recorded five-year period.
nm/cmk (AP, dpa)