Data released by the World Meteorological Organization and Europe's Copernicus Climate Change Service confirms that July 2019 was Earth's hottest month on record. That data reaches all the way back to 1880.
The global temperature was 1.71 degrees higher than the average for the 20th century at 62.13 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem alarmingly warm, but remember, that includes the arctic where warming is happening the fastest.
Last month's global heat is becoming a new norm. The past five calendar years have been Earth's warmest on record.
It's important to remember that a global average doesn't necessarily describe what's going on at a local level. In Buffalo, July 2019's average temperature was 74.0 degrees; 2.9 degrees above the 30-year average for the month.
Those numbers don't even qualify for a top-10 hottest July.
Still, there is a clear warming trend for Western New York when you look at the past couple of centuries. During the late 1800s, about half of all daily temperature records involved record cold. Since 2000, that share has rapidly dropped to less than 20%.
If you would like to learn more about Earth's changing climate, check out WGRZ's newest digital series, the Climate Minute.
The 5-episode mini-series can be found here: Climate Minute.
If you have a local climate or weather question, send it to Heather Waldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.