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July 2019 recorded as hottest month on record, NOAA says

Heat wave in New York City

July 2019 temperatures were the hottest ever recorded globally, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Thursday, while satellite data showed polar ice shrank to its lowest levels.

The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

The July peaks came hot on the heels of a sizzling June, which ended up being the hottest June recorded over the past 140 years.

January to July 2019 on land was the third warmest such period on record, NOAA reported, with global temperatures reaching 2.63 F (1.46 C) above average, behind only 2016 and 2017 marks. We'll know in September how this finally turns out.

Some areas, however, saw the opposite occur; NOAA says parts of Scandinavia as well as western and eastern Russian Federation were 2.7 degrees cooler than average.

According to NOAA's records, nine of the 10 hottest Julys on record have occurred since 2005 and last month was the 43rd consecutive July above the 20th century average.

Average Arctic sea ice meanwhile set a record low for July, at 1.9 million square kilometers (726,000 square miles), 19.8 percent below average, and surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012.

In its own analysis, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has found that while last month was the warmest July ever observed, it tied with August 2016 as hottest month.

These findings are consistent with those from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, released earlier this month.

This year has also set records in the Arctic, where sea ice hit the lowest point ever seen for the month of July.

Alaska, Central Europe, northern and southwestern parts of Asia, and parts of Africa and Australia suffered the most intense departures from normal high temperatures, experiencing their hottest year to date. Sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions reached 41-year lows as well, according to NOAA.

And the average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3 percent below the 1981 to 2010 average.