Mideast heatwave set records
There was no letup to the global heatwave in July, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which reported this week that the month ended up as the warmest ever recorded on planet Earth.
Federal climate trackers said it was the 15th month in a row with above average temps, making it the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137 years of record keeping. The global temperature for July has been above average for 40 years in a row, since 1976. July was also the 379th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. The last month with temperatures below the 20th century average was December 1984, at 0.09 degrees Celsius below average.
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 0.87 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average, besting the previous July record set in 2015 by 0.06 degrees Celsius. Across the world’s land areas, the average temperature was 1.10 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average.
According to NOAA, there was record warmth across parts of Indonesia, southern Asia, and New Zealand. According to an analysis by the National Centers for Environmental Information, all six continents had at least a top eight warm July, with Asia observing its second highest July average temperature, behind 2010.
Near-average and cooler-than-average readings were reported from the northwestern and north-central United States, eastern Canada, southern South America, southwestern Australia, north central Russia, Kazakhstan, and India.
Some of the warmest readings for the month were from the Middle East, where the UN warned that heatwaves could exacerbate the global refugee crisis by forcing more people to flee inhospitable areas, and by causing serious health impacts in refugee zones.
The Kingdom of Bahrain recorded a mean temperature of 36 degrees Celsius for July 2016, which is 2.1 degrees Celsius above average, tying with 2012 as the highest July temperature since national records began in 1902.
According to records of the U.S. Air Force 14th Weather Squadron, several locations across Kuwait observed temperatures higher than 45 degrees Celsius during the month. The highest maximum temperature during July 2016 was recorded in Mitribah, Kuwait when temperatures soared to 52.5 degrees Celsius on July 22, which would be the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia and in the Eastern Hemisphere.
NOAA also reported that the year-to-date is record warm, topping 2015 by 0.19 degrees Celsius. For the year, record warmth was widespread across Alaska, western Canada, southern Mexico, Central America, northern South America, central and southwestern Africa, Indonesia, northern and eastern Australia, the Indian Ocean, and across parts of north-central Russia, western Asia, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
Near to much cooler-than-average temperatures were observed across the northwestern Pacific Ocean, northern Atlantic Ocean (south of Greenland), and parts of the southern oceans. The only area with record cold temperatures was east of the Drake Passage off the southern tip of South America.
This information was compiled from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information State of the Climate: Global Analysis for July 2016. Click here to read the full report: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201607.