Amid predictions that the year could go down as one of the warmest on the books, Death Valley, California just beat its own record for the hottest month ever measured in the United States.
“The heatwaves and extreme heat we are experiencing are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. This is not a future scenario. It is happening now.” —WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova
According to data compiled by the Washington Post, the average July temperature there averaged 108.1°F (42.3°C), topping the record the same location “set a year ago by about a half-degree.”
The new record temperature, according to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera, comes in just below the world record for hottest monthly temperature anywhere—108.5°F (42.5°C)—which was recorded in July 2000 at Dehloran, Iran.
“Searing heat in Death Valley in July, is of course, the norm,” the Post reports. “So it might be hard to contemplate it being unusually hot in such a place. But this July’s temperature has averaged nearly six degrees above the average of 102.2.”
The new record comes as the state faces catastrophic and deadly wildfires, with firefighters continuing to battle them on Wednesday. Experts say their link to the climate crisis is clear:
In a statement on Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted extreme weather experienced across the globe during the month of July, including heatwaves in the Arctic, deadly fires in Greece, and historic rainfall in Japan.
“2018 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record, with new temperature records in many countries. This is no surprise,” said WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova.
“The heatwaves and extreme heat we are experiencing are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions,” she added. “This is not a future scenario. It is happening now.”