Monday, July 3 was the hottest day on record anywhere in the world, according to data from the US National Center for Environmental Prediction.
The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the record 16.92 degrees Celsius (62.46 degrees Fahrenheit) set in August 2016, when heat waves hit the world.
The southern US has been suffering from a severe heat dome in recent weeks. A sustained heatwave continued in China, with temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F). Temperatures in North Africa were around 50 °C (122 °F).
And even Antarctica, which is currently in winter, has seen unusually high temperatures. Ukraine’s Vernadsky Research Base in the White Continent’s Argentine Islands recently broke its July temperature record of 8.7°C (47.6°F).
“This is not a milestone we should be celebrating,” said climate scientist Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain’s Imperial College London.
“It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems.”
Scientists said climate change combined with an emerging El Niño pattern was to blame.
“Unfortunately, it promises to be only the first in a series of new records to be set this year as emissions rise [carbon dioxide] and greenhouse gases coupled with an increasing El Niño event are driving temperatures to new highs,” Zeke Hausfather, researcher at Berkeley Earth, said in a statement.
(Reporting by Gloria Dickie; Editing by Mark Potter)