Aug 15, 2019 - Energy & Environment

July was Earth's hottest recorded month

This image shows a mostly dry riverbed with a large bridge over it and trees in the distance

River Loire at Montjean-sur-Loire, western France on July 24, 2019. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

This July surpassed August 2016 as the hottest-ever month on record by 0.14 degrees Fahrenheit, the Washington Post's Andrew Freedman reports.

The big picture: Deke Arndt, head of climate monitoring for NOAA, tells the Post that "July 2019 marked the 415th straight month that was warmer than the 20th century average." 9 of the 10 warmest Julys on record have taken place since 2005, and Arctic and Antarctic sea ice fell to their lowest-recorded levels this July, according to NOAA.

Why it matters, per the Post: Thanks to "increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the air from the burning of fossil fuels, the climate no longer needs a strong natural extra dose of warming in order to set a new temperature milestone," — i.e., a strong El Niño event did not affect July's record-setting temperature as it did in 2016.

Go deeper: Why today's global warming is "unprecedented"

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