July 2019 was the hottest month on record for the planet, a period that saw numerous heat waves smash regional records around the globe, including one in the Arctic that triggered massive ice loss in Greenland. Although July only narrowly beat the previous record holder, July 2016, by a narrow margin, this new record is especially significant due to the absence of a significant El Niño event, a factor that inflated temperatures for the previous record holder, July 2016.

According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), July came close to hitting a whopping 1.2°C (2.16°F) above pre-industrial levels (0.56°C (1.0°F) above the 1981-2010 global average), meaning last month either met or narrowly beat 2016’s record, and is also a follow up to the hottest June on record. 2016, however, experienced back-to-back record-breaking El Niños; while 2019 is also considered to be an El Niño year, temperatures across the equatorial Pacific barely qualify as El Niño conditions—if we had had a repeat of the 2015-2016 El Niño, this July’s monthly record would have been much higher.

Those temperatures were borne out in massive heat waves seen around the globe, in turn sparking massive wildfires around the Arctic, and the high pressure weather system that baked Europe in July was also responsible for a heat wave in Greenland that triggered massive ice melt over the course of the month, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

197 billion metric tonnes (217 billion tons—that’s a fifth of a trillion tons!) of ice is estimated to have melted off of the surface of nearly 60 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet over the course of July, an event not seen since July 2012; although the extent of the melt was less than what was recorded in 2012, when 97 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet experienced surface melt, temperatures this time around are much higher, at 8-11°C (15-20°F) above normal.
 
This included a record-breaking one day loss of over 10 billion tonnes (11 billion tons) on July 31 that shaved a full millimeter of ice off of the affected sheets.

The amount of water flowing into the ocean on July 31 alone, roughly the equivalent to 4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, is estimated to have raised ocean levels by over a quarter millimeter (0.28mm); the totality of July’s surface melt is expected to have hiked ocean levels by a full half millimeter, or 0.02 inches.

“July has rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at the local, national and global level,” according to Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization.

“This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now, and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action,” Taalas continued. “Time is running out to rein in dangerous temperature increases with multiple impacts on our planet.”

10 Comments

  1. Aye, it’s slowly climbing.

    I’ll stock up on tinned food and water.

  2. Trump’s too smart to believe in climate change! His statement not mine.

  3. No one wants to talk about electron dense space that is really the reason for “climate change”….. Japanese and Finnish scientists have found man is not the reason. Its another uninformed situation grinding the same old narrative.

    1. Whose ever fault or natural causes you better sell that property near the ocean to some other fool before it is too late.

      1. I would like to amend my flippant comment as it might seem care about the rapid slide into death and chaos. What I meant was we humans have to stop the shame, blame and denial patterns which are all very human characteristics. The focus must become on how to save our species from eventual extinction which will involve saving other life forms from extinction eg renewing the natural world while creating a sustainable human habitation on a much hotter earth.

        In the early 80’s I was made aware that the earth would change in ways that seemed impossible. As with so many I thought, if I thought about it at all, that tomorrow, next year would not be any different from before. Now that ancient prophecy, more recent channeled info from on and off planet, scientific observations, insurance industry forecasts, DoD national security reports and more are falling into general agreement can there be any question? The collective attention is drawn towards the trump show, the latest tech-driverless cars, iphone and AI, sports and who is the latest evil doer that we need to make war against.

        My heart aches for this beautiful planet being ripped apart for profit. In my very wooded part of central NC spring this year was the quietest ever. There are very, very few flying insects even around beautiful bright flowers and consequently very few song birds. Rachael Carson predicted this it has just taken longer than she thought.

        Can we restore what has and will be destroyed? Can we stop killing each other long enough to refocus on our collective suicide and chose life?

    2. Not familiar with the Japanese study you allude to, but the Finnish study was not peer-reviewed. That doesn’t mean its conclusions are necessarily wrong — there has been important scientific work published independently that was not peer-reviewed, and poorly argued or even intentionally manipulated data that has passed peer review — but peer review remains the most important means of quality control for published scientific work.

    3. It is obviously established that the earth indeed experiences non-human caused climate shifts. However, the entire premise of your post is offensive and I question your motives. Any person who has lived and traveled on this planet for more than a few decades has to have seen and experienced the environmental degradation caused 100% by humans – from piles of plastics and microplastics in every ocean, sea, and waterway, depleted fisheries, depleted wildlife of all varieties, increased particulates in the air, deforestation, nuclear waste, FRACKING (who can stand there and proudly declare that as one of mankind’s brilliant innovations)… to post something like that, as though humans have had no impact whatsoever, is evil. “Uninformed situation grinding the same old narrative?” So you have a problem with people saying we have to stop poisoning and destroying our planet?

    4. No one wants to talk about “electron dense space” as a climate issue because it isn’t an issue, since the particle density in the region of space surrounding the Earth is currently experiencing a 105-year low , due to the Sun’s (our chief source of space-borne particles like electrons) record-low output.

      As for those Japanese and Finnish scientists, even a mild bit of effort put into goggling clarifies why neither groups’ ideas are an issue:

      https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/domestic/16562-finnish-scientists-effect-of-human-activity-on-climate-change-insignificant.html

      The Finnish article (this was not, and never could be published as, a study) is poorly-sourced and employs circular reasoning, essentially claiming that the IPCC was lying about their results in their AR5 report, fudging the numbers (by 1.5°F?) in their climate model to fit the temperature increases being observed because they, according to the article’s authors, “fail to calculate the influences of the low cloud cover changes on the global temperature.” I won’t bother getting into the numerous flaws in their reasoning, but it basically comes down to them claiming that all other climate models are wrong, but their model is correct, despite not offering any verifiable evidence toward either claim. Here’s a blog that offers more detail in regards to what was wrong with the article:

      https://climatefeedback.org/claimreview/non-peer-reviewed-manuscript-falsely-claims-natural-cloud-changes-can-explain-global-warming

      The PDF also conveniently ignores the fact that the IPCC’s climate model is far from the first–and certainly not the only–model to have come to nearly the exact same conclusions, including modeling conducted by climate skeptic organizations such as Berkley Earth and Exxon Corp–and Exxon’s models, made in the 1970s, correctly predicted what is going on today.

      The Japanese article (also not a study) discusses the influence of galactic cosmic rays on Earth’s climate, via the novel-yet-unlikely idea that gamma rays can seed clouds. Although solar activity is at record lows, resulting in a weakened magnetosphere, galactic cosmic ray flux isn’t any higher than it was during previous solar minimums. Here’s an article explaining the link (or rather, the observed lack of one) between GCR and global warming/cloud formation:

      https://skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming-advanced.htm

      It is indeed “another uninformed situation grinding the same old narrative,” and the anthropogenic global warming denial narrative has ground on for far, far longer than it should have.

  4. Thank you, M. Frizzell for a rational & well researched response to the “electron dense space” case for global warming. I’ve been tracking the science for over 20 years and I’m so emotional about this issue that I forget to take the time to provide data to rebuke such tripe.

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