At first glance, July appeared to be like any other July in year's past. Music festivals returned, hit movies filled the theaters and the Olympics were held. However, it was far from normal. In fact, it was unlike any other July in recorded history and the COVID-19 pandemic did not play a role in its distinct nature. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have reported that July's average global surface temperature was 1.67 ℉ higher than average, making it the hottest month in more than 140 years.
"In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad said.
“July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
While it is not unheard of for Earth to be this warm, rising temperatures may make it more difficult for humans to inhabit the planet. Changes in climate have caused concern amongst several climate experts. A July report from Nature Communications estimates that the global temperature may rise by nearly 39 ℉ by 2100. Furthermore, the report suggests that 83 million lives may be lost by 2100 due to the shifting global climate.
“Based on the decisions made by individuals, businesses or governments, this tells you how many lives will be lost, or saved,” Daniel Bressler of Columbia University.
“It quantifies the mortality impact of those decisions. It brings this question down to a more personal, understandable level."