A sunny day in July at Rastila beach, Helsinki/Lehtikuva

News in brief

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—an American scientific and regulatory agency—suggests that July 2021 was the hottest month on record. 

The combined land and ocean-surface temperature around the world was 0.93℃ above the 20th century average of 15.8℃ last month, moving past the previous heat record set in July 2016 (which was matched in July 2019 and July 2020).

As per NOAA, it was the hottest July ever recorded for Asia and the second hottest for Europe (after July 2018), with countries such as Italy and Spain recording temperatures above 45℃. However, the data indicates that this was not just an exceptionally warm July, but the hottest month on Earth since record keeping began 142 years ago. 

The land-surface temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was especially high, reaching an “unprecedented” 1.54℃ degrees above average and exceeding the previous record set in 2012. Experts have attributed these extreme temperatures to the long-term effects of climate change.  

Like most other countries in Europe, Finland experienced an exceptionally warm July this year. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, temperatures exceeding 25℃ were recorded on a total of 24 days—eight days above the average for July.   

The highest temperature of the month—34°C—was recorded in the district of Asemantaus, Heinola (Southern Finland), while Porvoo had the most number of warm days (23). Additionally, Finland endured the hottest June on record this year. 

A report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last week outlines the impending dangers of the climate crisis and urges countries to take urgent action to prevent catastrophes. 

According to the report, global warming has already led to an unprecedented wave of extreme climate events such as heatwaves, resulting in wildfires, floods, hurricanes and droughts around the world. A tangible effect of climate change for Finland in particular will be less snow during winter in the near future. 

Tahira Sequeira

Helsinki Times