Hottest day ever recorded on July 3rd, with a global average of 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 F). The previous record, of 16.92C (62.46F) was set in August 2016.
17C sounds low, but remember that any global average includes the half of the world currently experiencing winter, and reflects high winter temperatures as well.
For several weeks, the southern United States has suffered under a heat dome, which has seen temperatures go as high as 115 F (46.11C) in south Texas and higher still down in Mexico. China saw an enduring heat wave as well, with similar temperatures. North Africa endured temperatures over 122F (50C). All three heat waves caused hundreds of deaths.
Even Antarctica, only two weeks past the peak of its winter, registered strangely high temperatures, breaking its July records with 8.7C (47.6F) when the historic average for July has been closer to -70C (-94F).
“Unfortunately, it promises to only be the first in a series of new records set this year as increasing emissions of [carbon dioxide] and greenhouse gases coupled with a growing El Nino event push temperatures to new highs,” said Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at Berkeley Earth, in a statement.
“This is not a milestone we should be celebrating,” said climate scientist Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain’s Imperial College London. “It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems.”
Of course, no one is celebrating yet another hottest day ever. But people trying to make changes while we still can are fighting against two forces; those who refuse to believe that these changes are human-driven and therefore can be changed at all, and those who think that profits are more important that stopping this cycle that will result in a world many cannot afford to live in.