The sun sets behind Joshua Trees in Lancaster, California, where temperatures reached 107 degrees Fahrenheit on July 12, 2021.

(ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Much of the planet saw above average temperatures.
  • Death Valley hit a daily record high.
  • The data comes on the heels of a sobering UN climate change report.

July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth in data going back 142 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a news release Friday. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded.”

The combined land and ocean-surface temperature in July was 1.67 degrees warmer than the 20th century average of 60.4 degrees, according to data from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. That broke a record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.

With the July data, it remains very likely that 2021 will rank among the world’s 10 warmest years on record.

(MORE: Record Hot Start to Summer in 30 Cities)

The announcement comes on the heels of the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which highlights the effects of human activities on climate and predicts a future of warmer temperatures and more extreme weather, including heat waves.

“It is a sobering IPCC report that finds that human influence is, unequivocally, causing climate change, and it confirms the impacts are widespread and rapidly intensifying,” Spinrad said of the report.

“This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”

Among the worldwide climate extremes in July:

-Much of the western U.S. saw above average temperatures that, combined with ongoing drought, helped fuel wildfires across the region.

-Death Valley, California, soared to 130 degrees on July 9, a daily record high and just a few degrees shy of the world record hottest temperature, 134 degrees.

-St. George, Utah, tied the statewide all-time high temperature of 117 degrees on July 11.

-Las Vegas tied its all-time record high temperature of 117 degrees on July 10.

-Grand Junction, Colorado, broke its all-time warmest temperature on record when it reached 107 degrees on July 9.

-Hurricane Elsa was the earliest forming fifth named storm in the Atlantic basin.

-Above average temperatures were present across much of South America, Europe, Africa and Australia.

-Asia had its warmest July on record.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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