According to new data released Thursday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. The record goes back to 1880. The global average temperature for July was 62.13 degrees (Fahrenheit), 1.71 degrees warmer than the 20th century average of 60.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It beat the July 2016 record by 0.05 degrees F globally.
This should come as no surprise. The most unusual temperatures came from Alaska, central Russia and western Canada, where temperatures rose an average of 3.6 degrees F, according to the NOAA. July 4th in Anchorage, Alaska hit the 90-degree mark for the first time in the city's history. The same heat wave spread over Europe, and settled in Greenland, causing hundreds of billions of tons of ice to melt. The NOAA also released that sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions reached a 41-year low. In 2018, global carbon emissions set a new record of total output.
“I anticipated that 2019 was going to contend for one of the warmest years on record because of climate change and a weak El Niño signal," said Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia. "July affirms that this year, like many of the past two decades, is operating within a new normal climate."
2019 is tied with 2017 at the hottest year on record globally. The heat also fueled wildfires in Arctic regions such as Alaska, Siberia and Greenland. Berkley Earth and Copernicus Climate Change Service, other climate-monitoring groups, also claimed that July was the hottest month on record.
According to Climate Signals, a digital platform that catalogs and maps that impacts of climate change located in NYC, the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are causing the global average temperature to increase at a dangerous rate, never before seen in human history.
Scientists are now predicting what they call the Sixth Mass Extinction, attributed to human activity. I took some ecology classes in college (and was thinking about majoring in Restoration Ecology) and learned that globally we are also seeing more extreme weather, and more of a climate extremity. Why the data confuses people when a huge snowstorm hits in the Winter, or when one year is cooler than the next, is because of weather and climate extremity. That means that many scientists are predicting that deserts are getting drier and that humid areas might experience extremities in humidity. Weather has also globally seemed to be more extreme. This includes storms, hurricanes, tsunamis and tornadoes.
Approximately 56 million years ago, our planet was in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum as global mean temperatures were estimated as high as 73 degrees Fahrenheit, over 15 degrees above current levels. Ocean sediments and fossils indicate that massive amounts of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere.
I believe that we need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, in order to protect and save this planet for future generations. Many species during this century have suddenly and quickly become extinct or endangered. Deforestation and human encroachment has lead to massive habitat destruction. In spite of all the efforts being made globally to conserve nature and reduce carbon emissions, July 2019 reminded us of the severity of this epidemic. There are efforts, but the results are proving that it is not enough. And, enough is enough. We are pushing our planet to the brink.
The way in which this society is structured, it is impossible for the global population to fight the mega-corporations and one-percenters. I thoroughly believe that this problem can only be rectified by changing policies and changing politics. The only question is when will this dire situation finally hit home for us? When will enough be enough?