July 2021 was officially the hottest month in recorded history, according to new data released Friday (Aug. 13) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Last month, the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit (0.93 degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th-century average, blowing past the previous July heat record tied in July 2016, July 2019 and July 2020. But July 2021 was not only the hottest July ever — it was also the single hottest month since record keeping began 142 years ago, NOAA found.
"In this case, first place is the worst place to be," NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. "This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe."
The agency's report found that the Northern Hemisphere was particularly scorching, with land-surface temperatures measuring 2.77 F (1.54 C) above average — an "unprecedented" heat anomaly never seen before, according to the NOAA statement.