Last year saw record high temperatures in many places around the world and this year started out with more of the same. In mid-January, Onslow, a small town in Western Australia, measured a high temperature of 123.3 degrees, tying the all-time highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The previous reading was also made in Australia back in 1960.
The new temperature record was set just as climate institutions around the world were announcing that the past seven years have been the highest in recorded history.
The list of temperature records set in 2020 and 2021 is a long one. 2020 was the hottest year in recorded history. July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded. The hottest official temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world was 129.9 degrees, occurring in Death Valley, California on both August 16, 2020, and July 9, 2021.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic was 100.4 degrees on June 20, 2020 in Verkhoyansk in Russia’s Sakha Republic. (Amazingly, that small town also holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in Asia at -90 degrees). 2021 saw an all-time high temperature recorded in Europe, in Syracuse, Sicily, on August 11 at 119.8 degrees.
Overall, 400 documented weather stations in communities or outposts worldwide established all-time high temperatures in 2021 alone. The climate we have lived through over the past decades is changing and these changes will have consequences to our way of life.
Photo, posted January 21, 2013, courtesy of A. Dombrowski via Flickr.