If you thought the past two days felt hotter than ever, you weren’t wrong.
On July 3, the entire planet recorded the unofficial hottest day in human recordkeeping (the reanalyzer had the temperature at 17.01 degrees Celsius – 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but then the next day, July 4, was even hotter, according to University of Maine scientists at the Climate Reanalyzer project.
On the 4th of July, while most Americans are celebrating outside, Earth’s average temperature spiked at 17.18 degrees Celsius or 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, a common tool often used by climate scientists for a good glimpse of the world’s condition.
Tuesday’s temperature was nearly a full degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1979-2000 average, which is itself is warmer than the 20th and 19th century averages.
High temperature records were surpassed July 3 and 4 in Quebec and northwestern Canada and Peru. Cities across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon to Tampa, Florida have been hovering at all-time highs, said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Beijing reported nine straight days last week when the temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
“The increasing heating of our planet caused by fossil fuel use is not unexpected, it was predicted already in the 19th century after all,” said climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany (KHOU). “But it is dangerous for us humans and for the ecosystems we depend on. We need to stop it fast.”
The reanalyzer is based on a NOAA computer simulation intended for forecasts that use satellite data. It is not based on reported observations from the ground.
So this unofficial record is effectively using a weather tool that is designed for forecasts, not record-keeping.