Barbeques weren’t the only things heating up on the Fourth of July this year. The Earth also reached its highest temperature in over 40 years, which may not surprise some Americans who also suffered from the smoke from Canadian wildfires over recent weeks.
The average global temperature reached a balmy 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit, causing 57 million Americans to face dangerous heat on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. The previous record was broken just one day prior, when on Monday the average global temperature measured at 62.62 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists believe it’s likely to get worse over the coming months when several factors align to cause even higher global temperatures.
“When’s the hottest day likely to be? It’s going to be when global warming, El Niño and the annual cycle all line up together. Which is the next couple months,” a professor of geosystem science at Oxford University, Myles Allen, told Washington Post on Wednesday.
Warmer air temperatures caused by a rapidly strengthening El Niño pattern, a phenomenon where surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are unusually warm, are adding to the already existing issue of climate change that has been causing extreme heat on many parts of the globe.
Despite many countries working on initiatives to combat global warming, such as President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to provide between $0.7 and $1.9 trillion in cumulative climate-related benefits through 2050, scientists are worried about the Earth’s current trajectory.
Allen explained that the record-breaking temperatures are partly due to climate change, which has caused the global average to increase by 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit since preindustrial times.
The Earth “is warming 0.25 degrees Celsius a decade,” he said. “That’s why we see records broken continuously, rather than just as one-offs.”
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Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Arnab Nandy
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