This past July was fairly mild in the eastern United States, including here in New York City. For the western states and much of the rest of world, however, it was hotter than normal. In fact, the average temperature for the Earth as a whole soared into the record books yet again.
According to a report released this week by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, July 2014 was the fourth warmest July ever recorded for the entire planet. Earth’s combined average temperature for the month – over both land and sea surfaces – was 61.55°F. That is 1.15°F above the 20th century average. July 2014 also marked the 353rd consecutive month that our global temperature was above its long-term norm.
While above average heat dominated most of the planet this July, the Scandinavian countries were particularly warm. With a monthly temperature 7.7°F above normal, Norway marked not only its warmest July on record, but also its all-time highest monthly temperature for any month. In the western U.S., several states posted a July temperature in their top ten warmest.
While the Earth’s atmosphere is warming overall, July’s temperature anomalies (both above and below average) highlight the fact that climate change is a complex global phenomenon that involves much more than what is happening in our own backyards.
Year to date, according to the report, 2014 is currently tied with 2002 as the Earth’s third warmest year on record. Global temperature records date back to 1880.