Science & Technology

Hottest July on record another climate warning 

July was the world’s hottest month on record, another warning about the worsening impacts of climate change and the urgent need to reduce emissions this decade. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that July was 0.93°C above the 20th century average, the highest since global records began in 1880. 

“From heatwaves that killed hundreds to wildfires across North America, Europe and even Siberia, the deadly consequences of climate change, driven by the burning of coal, oil, and gas, are upon us,” said Will Steffen, Climate Council spokesperson and Emeritus Professor, Australian National University. 

“We have only a decade to deeply and rapidly cut emissions and avoid even more catastrophic climate change that is incompatible with well-functioning human societies,” said Professor Steffen. 

NOAA also found that Australia’s July 2021 mean temperature was 1.77°C above average, our fourth warmest July on record. 

“Climate change is driving deadly heatwaves and bushfire seasons in Australia, not to mention the threats to farming and the Great Barrier Reef,” said Lesley Hughes, Climate Council spokeswoman and Distinguished Professor of Biology, Macquarie University.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reminded us last week, every country must play its part in driving the global transition away from fossil fuels, and achieving rapid and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Professor Hughes. 

The Climate Council recommends a science-backed target for Australia to cut emissions 75% below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net zero by 2035.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

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