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Here & Now: Record Breaking Heat

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In July 2023, Earth experienced what is likely its hottest temperatures in modern history. Here’s why this is happening.

We are only a few weeks into summer, but nearly the entire world has been impacted by searing temperatures. Just as July began, Earth’s global average temperature hit an all-time high. And for the ensuing days, the record was broken again. On July 4, the global average temperature climbed to 17.1C (63F), becoming one of the hottest days in recent history. The previous record, set in 2016, was 16.92C (62.4F).

Across the United States, over 120 million Americans were put under heat advisory (nearly one-third of the population). In some areas, daily temperatures reached triple-digits (in Fahrenheit), and heat indexes were forecasted at nearly 48C (120F) across the southern United States. This heat extended into Mexico, as high temperatures killed at least 112 people between March and June 2023.

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