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ENVIRONMENT

July Was Earth’s Hottest Month On Record, According To Preliminary Data

Extreme Maximum Temperature in Europe (°C) on 24 July 2019; computer generated contours, based on preliminary data. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Extreme Maximum Temperature in Europe (°C) on 24 July 2019; computer generated contours, based on preliminary data. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

“The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers. Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic for the second consecutive month, devastating once pristine forests. This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change.”

July 2019 was likely the hottest month recorded in human history, according to data released by the World Meteorological Organization, reinforcing warnings of the urgent need to address climate change.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres spoke at press conference in New York about the new data on Thursday, urging world leaders to act immediately.

“If we do not take action on climate change now,” said Guterres, “these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Experts noted the extreme weather patterns of the past few months, from Alaska’s record-breaking temperatures to severe heat waves in Europe, as proof that the climate crisis has arrived.

“The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers,” World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas told the Independent.  “Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic for the second consecutive month, devastating once pristine forests.”

“This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change,” Taalas continued. “It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action.”

Including 2019, the past five years have been the hottest five years in recorded history. But despite the unprecedented heat, carbon emissions continue to rise, with 2018 showing the most fossil fuels burnt of any year in history.

While some major actors, such as the European Investment Bank, have recently moved to address the crisis by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy, others still fight to suppress science and spread doubt about the indisputable evidence of the human impact on the climate.

Trump’s Crackdown On Science

Whistleblowers from the Trump administration appeared before congress last Thursday, telling lawmakers they had experienced retaliation for including climate science in their research.

Joel Clement of the Interior Department said he was reassigned to an accounting role for his climate science research, saying the administration “has sidelined scientists and experts, flattened the morale of the career staff, and by all accounts, is bent on hollowing out the Agency.” Maria Caffrey of the National Park Service said she was repeatedly demoted for including references to the human impact on climate change in her research.

Similarly, Rod Schnoonover, who worked as an intelligence analyst for the federal government for 10 years, resigned last month after the White House blocked his testimony on the national security dangers of climate change.

“The decision to block the written testimony is another example of a well-established pattern in the Trump administration of undercutting evidence that contradicts its policy positions,” Schoonover wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times, published on Tuesday.

Trump’s Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt, and Environmental Protection Agency leader, Andrew Wheeler, are both former coal lobbyists. Their moves to diminish the influence of scientists and experts in favor of fossil fuel interests within their departments has led to widespread criticism.

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Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

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1 Comment

  1. Larry Stout August 3, 2019

    Never mind! Hows the next quarterly report looking? What about my BONUS????

    Reply

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