July this year was the warmest month ever recorded worldwide, satellite data has confirmed.
The assessment was carried out by EU climate change scientists, who say it’s the latest sign that Earth is experiencing unprecedented warming.
Scorching heatwaves saw weather records tumble across Europe – including Malta – last month, with unusually high temperatures of 42°C.
The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Programme, which analyses temperature data from around the planet, said that July was around 0.56 °C warmer than the global average temperature between 1981-2010.
That’s slightly hotter than July 2016, when the world was in the throes of one of the strongest weather events on record.
Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of the Copernicus Programme, said: ‘While July is usually the warmest month of the year for the globe, according to our data it also was the warmest month recorded globally by a very small margin.
‘With continued greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting impact on global temperatures, records will continue to be broken in the future.’
But, July is not alone in being hot.
The C3S data also shows that all months of 2019 so far rank among the four warmest for the month in question, and that June this year was also the warmest on record.
Average temperatures overtook those compared with a 1981-2010 benchmark in Europe, Alaska, Greenland, Siberia, central Asia, Iran and large swathes of Antarctica.
Africa and Australia were also well above average across most of each continent.