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July 2019 is the hottest month ever recorded, beating July 2016, according to European climate change service

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Officials in Switzerland and elsewhere painted stretches of rail tracks white, hoping to keep them from buckling in the extreme heat. At the port of Antwerp, two alleged drug dealers called police for help after they got stuck inside a shipping container filled with cocaine and feared they would suffocate in the heat. In Paris, people piled into movie theaters — some of the only air-conditioned places in town.


Wildfires raged across millions of acres in the Arctic. A massive ice melt event in Greenland sent hundreds of billions of tons of water pouring into the Atlantic Ocean, raising sea levels. And temperature records evaporated, one after another: 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit in Cambridge, England, and 108.7F in Paris. The same in Lingen, Germany.



“July has rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at [the] local, national and global level,” Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, said in announcing the month’s historic implications. “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."



Notably, July’s monthly temperature record comes without the added influence of a strong “El Niño” event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Such natural climate events, which typically occur about every five to seven years, add heat to the oceans and atmosphere and help boost planetary temperatures. The 2016 record, for example, occurred during a year with an extremely strong El Niño.


“While we don’t expect every year to set a new record, the fact that it’s happening every few years is a clear sign of a warming climate,” said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth.


One caveat:



Copernicus reports its monthly temperature rankings earlier than other temperature-tracking agencies such as NASA, and its rankings may differ slightly because it uses a different source for its data. The monthly ranking was generated by taking millions of readings from weather balloons, satellites, buoys and other sources on an hourly basis and feeding them into a computer model.

The results still must be checked against observational records gathered from networks of thousands of temperature measuring sites around the world. Those readings ultimately will be reported by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies in the coming weeks. But the final results are not likely to differ significantly from Copernicus, according to scientists.


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