NASA scientists report that July 2017 was statistically tied with July 2016 as the warmest July in the 137 years of modern record-keeping.
According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), last month was about 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean July temperature of the period between 1951-1980. Only one July – July 2016 – showed a similarly high temperature (0.82 degrees Celsius). All previous months of July were more than a tenth of a degree cooler. The three previous global highs were set in 2015, 2011, and 2009.
Meteorologists writing for The Washington Post reported that the average July 2017 temperature in Death Valley, California, was the hottest for any location on record on Earth. The average temperature was 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit (41.9 degrees C), as the temperature (day or night) never dropped below 89 degrees Fahrenheit (31.7 degrees C) and ranged as high as 127 degrees Fahrenheit (52.8 degrees C).
NASA reported that several other U.S. locations, including Salt Lake City, Miami, and Reno, set new monthly temperature records in July. Spain also posted its highest daily temperature on record when temperatures soared to 116.4 Fahrenheit (46.9 degrees C) in Cordoba. And Shanghai, China, registered its highest-ever daily temperature at 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit (40.9 degrees C) in late July.
The GISS team assembles its temperature analysis from publicly available data acquired by roughly 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, as well as from ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature and Antarctic research stations.
Bottom line: July 2017 was statistically tied with July 2016 as the warmest July in 137 years of modern record-keeping,
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.