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Hottest July Ever Recorded in United States: California's Death Valley Busts Own Record

With 2018 on track to be one of the hottest years ever, the climate crisis is here. Now.

road sign in Death Valley reads "Caution! Exteme heat danger"

"The heatwaves and extreme heat we are experiencing are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions," said WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova. (Photo: fosco lucarelli/flickr/cc)  

Amid predictions that the year could go down as one of the warmest on the books, Death Valley, California just beat its own record for the hottest month ever measured in the United States.

"The heatwaves and extreme heat we are experiencing are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. This is not a future scenario. It is happening now." —WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova

According to data compiled by the Washington Post, the average July temperature there averaged 108.1°F (42.3°C), topping the record the same location "set a year ago by about a half-degree."

The new record temperature, according to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera, comes in just below the world record for hottest monthly temperature anywhere—108.5°F (42.5°C)—which was recorded in July 2000 at Dehloran, Iran. 

"Searing heat in Death Valley in July, is of course, the norm," the Post reports. "So it might be hard to contemplate it being unusually hot in such a place. But this July's temperature has averaged nearly six degrees above the average of 102.2."

The new record comes as the state faces catastrophic and deadly wildfires, with firefighters continuing to battle them on Wednesday. Experts say their link to the climate crisis is clear:

ABC News Senior Meteorologist Rob Marciano said it was an exceedingly long heatwave and that the high temperatures could create more wind in the afternoon and evening that's partly why the Carr fire spread so rapidly.

"Even by July standards, this is an unusually long July heat wave with triple-digit heat in areas for three weeks straight. And the night that the fire went off, temperatures were well above 110 degrees. In cases like this, there's an undeniable link to climate change," Marciano said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted extreme weather experienced across the globe during the month of July, including heatwaves in the Arctic, deadly fires in Greece, and historic rainfall in Japan.

"2018 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record, with new temperature records in many countries. This is no surprise," said WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova.

"The heatwaves and extreme heat we are experiencing are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions," she added. "This is not a future scenario. It is happening now."

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