NASA image captures one of the warmest Julys on record

Jeremy Hance
August 19, 2010

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has found that the global average temperature of July 2010 was nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius) higher than average temperatures from July 1951-1980. In fact, this July was tied for the warmest on record with July 2005 and 1998.

Temperatures soared dramatically in Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia where they rose above 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) from 1951-1980 averages. Russia suffered one of its worse natural disasters with weeks of fires that blanketed an already sweltering Moscow in toxic smoke. Drought destroyed a third of the nation's grain crop.

Some places, such as Central Asia and parts of South America, saw temperatures below normal, but these regional trends were not enough to counteract higher-than-average temperatures across most of the globe.

While the last seven months have been the hottest on record worldwide since data-taking began in the 1880s, researchers believe that cooler temperatures may be on the horizon as the expected La Niña (the opposite of an El Niño) brings in cooler weather. Still, it is likely that 2010 will be among the warmest years on record.

Climate experts overwhelmingly agree that the world is warming due to extensive greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. The past decade (from 2000-2009) was the warmest decade on record. Recently officials have stated that the heat wave and drought in Russia, freak floods in the US, and the devastating floods in Pakistan that have affected over 20 million people are in line with climate change expectations.

This map show global land temperature anomalies for July 2010 from average July temperatures of 1951-1980. Above-average temps are in red; below-average temps are in blue, while gray areas indicate insufficient data. Image courtesy of NASA-GISS. Click image to enlarge.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (August 19, 2010).

NASA image captures one of the warmest Julys on record.