July Was Hottest Month in History, Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Eclipsed 2012 Record

July was the hottest month in history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Friday.

Newly released data showed the global combined land and ocean-surface temperature last month was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit above average—the highest temperature since records began being kept 142 years ago, and far above the 20th-century average of 60 degrees.

"In this case, first place is the worst place to be," NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. "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."

NOAA said with July being the hottest month on Earth, it's likely that 2021 will rank among the world's 10-warmest years on record.

In the Northern hemisphere, the land surface temperature was measured at 2.77 degrees Fahrenheit above average. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded for the month of July, surpassing a record set in 2012.

NOAA reported Asia also had its hottest July ever, and Europe had its second-hottest July on record.

North America, South America, Africa and Oceania experienced temperatures last month that were in their top-10 warmest ever.

Heat waves and record-breaking temperatures have plagued much of the western U.S. this summer. A previous NOAA report found California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington had their warmest July on record.

The drought conditions have fueled massive wildfires across the northwest.

In California, the Dixie Fire has grown to become the state's second-largest wildfire in history. As of Thursday night, the blaze had burned more than 515,00 acres and was only 31 percent contained.

Experts told Newsweek that the fire could burn for months as climate change has made the California wildfire season longer and more severe.

July Was Hottest Month in History
July was the hottest month in history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Friday. In this photo, a child cools off in a fountain as temperatures reached 97 degrees fahrenheit on August 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Climate scientists at the United Nations said in their annual Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report this week that a hotter future is inevitable.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described the report as a "code red for humanity."

The scientists found that Earth will likely cross a crucial temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above average, by as soon as 2030. That's about a decade sooner than previously thought.

The report's authors warned that such human-related warming will cause extreme weather events such as heat waves, storms, wildfires and floods to become more common.

Newsweek reached out to NOAA for additional comment, but didn't receive a response before publication.