June of 2019 was the hottest June on record in the planet’s history. But July 2019 was the hottest month on record period, according to new data from the World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change program, marginally edging out July of 2016 by a few hundredths of a degree. “Our planet has now witnessed the warmest month in recorded history,” says climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “It is part of a worrisome pattern of streaks of broken records that, as our own research demonstrates, would not be occurring in the absence of human-caused climate change.”

In France, Paris reached a record high of 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit late in the month, and elsewhere in the country, some nuclear reactors shut down because water used to cool the equipment became too hot. In Greenland, an estimated two billion tons of ice melted on a single day. In Japan, a heat wave killed at least 11 people and sent thousands of others to emergency rooms. In Russia, millions of acres are burning in massive wildfires. In the U.S., a heat wave made Washington D.C. feel as hot as Death Valley.

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