Hottest July and California drought have climate fingerprints all over them

Hottest July and California Drought

Creative Commons: 2006

As reports surface that July was the hottest month ever recorded, other reports show that climate change injected a shot of steroids into this summer’s crippling California drought.

Climate change increased California’s drought problem by 15 to 20%, according to a study published this week by Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Warmer temperatures are causing plants and soil to lose their stored moisture, exacerbating already dry conditions in a state that is the 7th largest economy in the world and produces a sizable amount of America’s fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Across the globe, July 2015 was found to be the hottest July ever recorded since records were first kept in 1880.

Hottest July

Source: NOAA

The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.81C above the 20th century average last month.

As July is climatologically the warmest month for the year, July was also the hottest year on record, period.

It smashed the previous heat record set in 1998, surpassing it by 0.08°C to reach 16.61C.

The past seven months have been the hottest period on record.

The news of these records come as the world continues to see widespread extreme weather event, and just days before communities across the Gulf Cast mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans.

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