Although some people are still debating whether or not global climate change is actually real, the planet’s weather continues to respond with a resounding “YES!” In fact, according to historical data that goes all the way back to 1880, July 2015 is now officially the hottest month on earth that has ever been recorded.
This means that even if your area experienced a cold front or any other unusual type of weather during July, you should not view that as evidence of a lack of global warming. Instead, it is important to note that our ever-changing and increasingly unstable climate is actually a reflection of the worldwide warming trend.
What is the New Record?
Because July is almost always the hottest month of the year, it has had the distinction of being named the warmest month in history on several occasions. However, this year’s worldwide average hit 61.86 degrees, which is an increase of 1.73 degrees over the average from the entire 20th Century.
A bump of fewer than two degrees may not seem like much, but it can have a huge impact on other weather conditions. It is also worth noting that climate models that go back 4,000 years suggest last month reached the hottest global temperature average since at least the Bronze Age.
What Does the Rest of 2015 Look Like?
The polar vortex that hit the Eastern and Midwestern portion of the U.S. back in February brought with it record low temperatures, but this was not enough to alter the global monthly average since January. Overall, 2015 is trending toward becoming the hottest year in recorded history. This could be very bad news for drought-stricken California, but there also appears to be some help on the horizon that could result in a lot of rain.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes that the strong El Niño that is currently forming will keep temperatures high. Unfortunately, this could also lead to devastation that is similar to the 1997 record-breaking El Niño that caused wildfires and mudslides.
There is still time for the El Niño to become weakened, but experts are currently predicting a 90 percent chance that it maintains its intensity through the 2015-2016 winter season. Due to this, areas such as Michigan that are traditionally hit with frigid temperatures and high snowfall amounts are preparing for an unusual winter. Michigan’s meteorologists are predicting one of the warmest winters in history, combined with less than half of the area’s typical snowfall.
Interestingly, this year’s El Niño, which has been nicknamed Bruce Lee, is likely to cause the opposite weather effect in Southeastern states, including Georgia. Therefore, people who live in this portion of the U.S. should prepare themselves for a winter that could include slightly lower than usual temperatures and a much high amount of rainfall.
The Economic Impact of an El Niño
If typical trends continue, this topsy-turvy winter weather will help boost the country’s economy, along with causing increased debates between climate change believers and non-believers. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, a strong El Niño has often been linked to economic increases.
For example, mudslides in California can cause a lot of damage, but they also require a large amount of rain. Right now, an end to the drought would be very beneficial for California’s economy, and that would almost certainly outweigh whatever financial losses are suffered from any resulting mudslides.
No matter what ends up happening with the El Niño, July 2015 has earned its place in the record books as the hottest known month in earth’s history to date. Unfortunately, this is the third time in recent history that the record has been broken, and there is no indication that the continual warming of the planet will halt or reverse itself at any point in the near future. The so-called Mini Ice Age that the news recently warned people about turned out to be a hoax, so everyone should be aware that the odds are high that next year will be even warmer than this one.