By High Contrast [CC BY 3.0 de], from Wikimedia Commons

July 6, 2018; Washington Post

At NPQ, we write a lot about the impact of climate change on our sector, as well as climate change denial, although we rarely cover the climate itself. But once in a while, it might be worth taking the planet’s temperature, so to speak.

This summer, as Jason Samenow writes in the Washington Post, the Northern Hemisphere (that’s us) has started off with a blistering bang. Samenow explains, “From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week.”

Some highlights:

North America


  • In Scotland, Glasgow had its hottest day on record, hitting 89.4°F (31.9 Celsius)
  • In Ireland, on June 28thShannon hit 89.6°F (32 Celsius), its all-time record.
  • In Northern Ireland,
    • Belfast hit 85.1°F (29.5 Celsius) on June 28th, its all-time record.
    • Castlederg hit 86.2°F (30.1 Celsius) on June 29th, its all-time record.

Eurasia and the Middle East

Of course, a few—or even not so few—hot weather records over a nine-day period don’t “prove” climate change any more than a cold snap proves its absence. Then again, it is also the case that the past three-year period, the past four-year period, and the past five-year period all “rank warmest on record for the Lower 48, in records that date to 1895.” It also might be concerning that the last month on the planet to experience “below normal” temperatures was February 1985, making June 2018 the 400th month in a row of “above-normal” temperatures. That’s like flipping a coin 400 times in a row and always coming up tails. Which could happen. The chances, though, are incomprehensibly low.—Steve Dubb