A release from WMO indicates that the figure was compiled from data collected during the first 29 days of July, and that the temperature spike “will be on par with, and possibly marginally warmer than the previous warmest July, in 2016, which was also the warmest month ever.”
However, unlike the July 2016 record, boiling temperatures experienced in July 2019 weren’t the result of a strong El Niño weather phenomenon, an event that takes place when warmer ocean temperatures heat the atmosphere, forcing it to hold more moisture.
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) August 1, 2019
“We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters at a conference announcing the WMO’s data. “All of this means that we are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record.”
“This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting,” he continued.
“Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win.”
The announced figure comes at a time when much of Europe has continued to experience temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius for the first time.
In France, the Notre Dame de Paris’ chief architect expressed serious concern that the already badly-damaged church could sustain additional harm as a result of the July heatwave. Over yonder in Greenland, officials saw a massive acceleration in melting of the Danish territory’s ice sheets.
“July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now, and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action.”
The agency’s final data is set to be released Monday.