July was Earth's hottest recorded month
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.