Hottest month ever recorded adds to evidence of alarming climate change

Source: Xinhua| 2021-08-15 17:50:01|Editor: huaxia

DENVER, the United States, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- July was the hottest month ever recorded in human history, according to new data from a U.S. scientific agency.

"July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded," Rick Spinrad, administrator of the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, said Friday in a statement.

"In this case, first place is the worst place to be," Spinrad added.

A recent report by NBC News said that almost 200 million people across 34 U.S. states are under some form of heat advisory, with many U.S. cities observing abnormally high temperatures this summer.

The heat has partly spurred wildfire activity in the western part of the United States. In particular, the Dixie fire burning in the U.S. state of Northern California, which started on July 13, has grown to be the largest fire so far this year in the country and the second largest in the state's history.

Meanwhile, the European continent is also suffering from record-high temperatures.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), the mercury hit 119.84 Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees centigrade) on Wednesday, scorching Italy's southernmost province of Sicily. The temperature broke Europe's all-time record of 118.4 Fahrenheit (48 degrees centigrade), which was registered in Greece on July 10, 1977.

The hottest month "adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe," California-based environmental organization Sierra Club tweeted Friday.

Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of the UN, released a report titled "Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis," in which it warned that uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions have intensified climatic shocks besides undermining growth and stability.

"Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe," the report said.

Environmental experts believed that there is much to be done by the United States to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

"The science is clear," said Steve Clemmer, director of Energy Research & Analysis at the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The U.S. will need to cut CO2 and other heat-trapping emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions economy-wide no later than 2050," he said.

To achieve that, the country should target conventional natural gas power plants, which "produce about half the smokestack CO2 emissions than coal power plants per unit of electricity," he said.

Besides, it should also be on high alert for the leakage of methane emissions during the extraction, distribution and use of natural gas, as methane is "more than 80 times more potent a global warming gas than CO2," he added. Enditem

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