NEWS July Was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded

For the orig­i­nal: click here: https://​www​.kqed​.org/​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​/​1​9​4​6​2​1​9​/​j​u​l​y​-​w​a​s​-​t​h​e​-​h​o​t​t​e​s​t​-​m​o​n​t​h​-​e​v​e​r​-​r​e​c​o​r​ded.

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In the lat­est sign the Earth is under­go­ing unprece­dented warm­ing, Euro­pean sci­en­tists said Mon­day that July was the hottest month ever recorded.

While July is usu­ally the warmest month of the year for the globe, accord­ing to our data it also was the warmest month recorded glob­ally, by a very small mar­gin,” Jean-​​Noël Thé­paut, head of the Euro­pean Union’s Coper­ni­cus Cli­mateChange Ser­vice, said in a statement.

Last week, cit­ing the lat­est data, United Nations Sec­re­tary Gen­eral António Guter­res told reporters that the world is fac­ing a “cli­mate emer­gency.”  He noted the July num­bers were even more sig­nif­i­cant because the pre­vi­ous record-​​beating month, July 2016, occurred dur­ing one of the strongest El Nino’s on record. The weather phe­nom­e­non, which causes more storm sys­tems to form, also tends to con­tribute to higher temperatures.

We have always lived through hot sum­mers,” Guter­res said. “But this is not the sum­mer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer.”

In a news release, the sci­en­tists at Coper­ni­cus framed July’s heat against the goals out­lined in the Paris cli­mate agree­ment, which aims to keep the increase in global aver­age tem­per­a­tures less than 3.6 degrees Fahren­heit (2 degrees Cel­sius) above prein­dus­trial levels.

Even at that those increased tem­per­a­tures, the effects on Earth’s envi­ron­ment would be dra­matic, includ­ing ris­ing sea lev­els and more fre­quent droughts and famines.

The July tem­per­a­ture was close to 2.2 degrees Fahren­heit (1.2 degrees Cel­sius) above those in the prein­dus­trial era. Since then, the Earth has warmed about 1.8 degrees Fahren­heit, accord­ing to  the United Nations Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change.

Much of Europe baked in a bru­tal heat wave this sum­mer. In Green­land, where tem­per­a­tures are 10 to 15 degrees F above aver­age, 10 bil­lion tons of ice is melt­ing into the ocean daily.

This is exactly what the cli­mate mod­els pre­dict,” said Daniel Kam­men, a UC Berke­ley pro­fes­sor who chairs the school’s Energy and Resources Group.

The state’s res­i­dent s are already see­ing the impacts of global warm­ing in more fre­quent and intense wild­fires. Res­i­dents also have higher med­ical and energy costs as they use more air con­di­tion­ing, Kam­men says, and farm­ers are tak­ing a hit as they attempt to cope with new weather con­di­tions. The expense is mostly being shoul­dered by low-​​income peo­ple who can  least afford it, said Kammen.

We are see­ing the social dis­rup­tion right here in the Bay Area, not just some remote story about 122-​​degree days in India,” he said. “It is very close to home.”

Kam­men says the new data under­scores the impor­tance of mov­ing away from fos­sil fuels as an energy source, which would pre­vent the worst effects of cli­mate change.

It can still be done, and Cal­i­for­nia can con­tribute, he says.  Already,  offi­cials have com­mit­ted the state to renew­able energy and climate-​​friendly poli­cies such as the cap-​​and-​​trade sys­tem and a man­date for solar energy capa­bil­ity in the con­struc­tion of new homes, Kam­men says. But he thinks the state can do more, like build­ing homes around mass tran­sit and imple­ment­ing farm­ing tech­niques that use less fer­til­izer, pes­ti­cides and water.

And he wants to see “a real­is­tic plan for the most car-​​intensive state in the nation to switch us all to elec­tric and hydro­gen vehi­cles. That has to be next on California’s agenda.”

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