If you’ve been feeling like this summer has been hotter than ever, you’re not alone. The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) has announced that July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on earth. According to the NOAA, last month, global temperatures soared to 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, which was 60.4 degrees. This means that the world’s temperature has surpassed a record that was previously set in July 2016.
The increased heat has had a negative impact on the world’s ice caps. The NOAA notes that in July, average Arctic sea ice shrank to a “record low” and average Antarctic sea-ice hasn’t fared much better and is now almost 5 percent smaller than an average recorded between 1981 to 2010.
This isn’t the first time that scientists have informed the public about the high temperatures the world experienced in July.
As Business Insider notes, near the end of the month, climate experts warned that the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet had reached levels that were expected in 2070 in the “worst-case scenario.” The melting continued in August. The Washington Post reports the glacier shed 12.5 billion tons of ice on August 1, which is the biggest one-day loss recorded on that ice-sheet since 1950.
These developments suggest that the glacier is on course to disappearing completely much sooner than experts had previously expected. If this happens, sea levels will rise dramatically, which could potentially wipe coastal areas off the map, Business Insider adds.
Within five days — between June 30 and August 3 — 55 billion tons of water flowed into the sea as a result of Greenland’s glacial melting. This is reportedly enough water to flood Florida with 5 inches of water.
Greenland has also experienced other disasters that have been triggered by the unprecedented high temperatures. On July 10, a wildfire broke out in the central-western part of the country, an area that had experienced daily high temperatures almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average.
Despite this dire news about global high temperatures and glacial melting, there are some individuals and organizations that deny the human role in causing climate change. According to an article published in Nature Communications, researchers have suggested that these climate change deniers get more mainstream media coverage than scientists who support the hypothesis that human activity has a direct impact on global warming.
President Donald Trump has also made declarations about climate change that indicate that he’s on the side of the skeptics. He has said that he wants the United States to leave the Paris Paris Climate Agreement, which is the foundation of a global coalition to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Axios notes that his administration has also rescinded 49 environmental policies.
Photographer Karen Huynh captures an incredible view here of a glacier in Greenland, noting that without humans making changes, "Views like this will cease to exist" on this planet we call home. (via Your Shot) https://t.co/hVTEakrDvg pic.twitter.com/dyvdwPm1Hg— Nat Geo Travel (@NatGeoTravel) August 17, 2019