July was the hottest month ever recorded for the planet as Arctic and Antarctic sea ice shrank to historic lows, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Philadelphia was sweating too. The month averaged 80.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.8 degrees above normal temperatures in the city, according to national weather service records. Last year, July averaged 78.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, this was the 10th hottest July on record in Philadelphia going back to 1874.
July also set a record for warmest low temperature for that month when it dropped only to 81 degrees Fahrenheit in Philly on July 21. That broke the previous warmest low of 79 degrees Fahrenheit set in 2017.
And it hasn’t been a dry heat either. July notched rain totals exceeding six inches, making it one of the wettest Julys on record in Philadelphia.
Last month, NOAA scientists issued another report, this one on the fact that coastal towns, including those in New Jersey, continue to see increased high-tide flooding that inundated streets and basements — the result of sea level rise and climate change. Last year, the number of high-tide flooding days tied the U.S. record.
Globally, the data reinforce predictions for man-made climate change, scientists agree.
In Thursday’s new report, NOAA said that the average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees above the 20th-century average on earth of 60.4 degrees. That made it the hottest July in 140 years of recording temperatures, scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported.
The previous hottest month on record was July 2016; nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005. The last five have been the five hottest.
The rest of the year has also been warm. January through July was also nearly 2 degrees above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees Fahrenheit. That tied 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record.
Much of the world baked in the heat, including countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the southern half of Africa.
NOAA also reported that average Arctic sea ice set a record low for July at almost 20% below average. That surpassed the previous historic low of July 2012.
Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3% below the 1981-2010 average. That made it the lowest for July in the 41-year record.