The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed on Thursday that July was the warmest month ever recorded worldwide and this year has so far been the hottest since record-keeping began.
The announcement came just over three months before world leaders will meet in Paris to come up with a climate agreement aimed at addressing the pressing issue of global warming.
Among the objectives of the UN climate talks is to stop global temperatures from increasing to over 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels that, according to scientists, is the limit beyond which will result in worse flooding, storms, droughts and rising sea levels.
NOAA said in its monthly global climate report that many countries and oceans experience heat waves. Temperature of the Earth's oceans also hit record highs last month.
July is often the warmest month of the year but NOAA said that July of this year had the highest month temperature since NOAA started collecting data in 1880 at 16.61 degrees Celsius (61.86 degrees Fahrenheit) surpassing the 1998 record by 0.08 degrees( 32.14 degrees Fahrenheit). Scientists said that July temperature now increased at an average rate of 0.65 Celsius per century.
"The world is warming. It is continuing to warm. That is being shown time and time again in our data," said physical scientist Jake Crouch, from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.
NOAA added that this year's first seven months were the warmest for such period ever recorded across land and ocean surfaces at 0.85°C (33.5°F) above the average for the 20th century and surpassing the 2010 record by 0.09°C (32.16°F)
"The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for July 2015 was the highest for July in the 136-year period of record," NOAA reported. "As July is climatologically the warmest month of the year globally, this monthly global temperature of 16.61°C (61.86°F) was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880."
Scientists said that climate change caused by human activities and a powerful El Niño, which occurs when wind shifts and warms the water of Pacific Ocean causing global weather changes, are main drivers of the soaring temperatures this year.
Among the consequences of global warming that was felt in the U.S is severe drought conditions. NOAA said that 29.3 percent of the country now suffers from drought condition, which increased by 3.5 percent over the last month and a half.
Photo: Harry (Howard) Potts | Flickr