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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s official – July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, according to NASA.
Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York reported that this July was “hotter than any other month in the global temperature record.” In a press release Monday, NASA announced that July 2023 was 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than any other July in NASA’s record.
The month was also 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average July between 1951 and 1980, according to NASA’s GISS analysis, which defines “normal” temperatures by several decades or more, typically 30 years.
According to NASA, the five hottest Julys recorded since 1880 have all occurred within the past five years.
“NASA data confirms what billions around the world literally felt: temperatures in July 2023 made it the hottest month on record. In every corner of the country, Americans are right now experiencing firsthand the effects of the climate crisis, underscoring the urgency of President Biden’s historic climate agenda,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “The science is clear. We must act now to protect our communities and planet; it’s the only one we have.”
According to the press release, parts of South America, North Africa, North America, and the Antarctic Peninsula were “especially hot,” experiencing temperature increases around 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit above average.
“Overall, extreme heat this summer put tens of millions of people under heat warnings and was linked to hundreds of heat-related illnesses and deaths. The record-breaking July continues a long-term trend of human-driven warming driven primarily by greenhouse gas emissions that has become evident over the past four decades,” NASA said in the release.
While scorching temperatures impacted the globe last month, the sweltering heat also affected Tampa Bay, setting a new heat record for the area.
WFLA News Channel 8 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli reported that July 2023 was the hottest July ever recorded for the Tampa Bay area. In Tampa, Berardelli said temperatures averaged 2.5 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
Although temperatures are rising around the world, scientists are warning that this phenomenon isn’t normal.
“This July was not just warmer than any previous July – it was the warmest month in our record, which goes back to 1880,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said. “The science is clear this isn’t normal. Alarming warming around the world is driven primarily by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. And that rise in average temperatures is fueling dangerous extreme heat that people are experiencing here at home and worldwide.”
According to NASA, high sea surface temperatures contributed to July’s record warmth. The agency’s analysis shows especially warm ocean temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific, evidence of the El Niño that began developing in May 2023.