“The world has just experienced one of the three warmest months of July on record. And of course, as we all know, a very prolonged and intense heat wave has affected some parts of Europe,” WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told a press conference.

In a statement, the WMO, citing data from the Copernicus Climate Change Monitoring Service, said last month had been slightly cooler than July 2019, but slightly warmer than July 2016. “But the difference between these three months is really too small,” said Clare Nullis. "The difference is less than the margin of error."

Overall, last month's temperature was 0.4°C warmer than the temperature recorded in July in the 1991-2020 reference period. This despite the presence of the natural phenomenon “La Niña”, which, according to the WMO, “should have a cooling effect”.

Last month, the WMO called for an “awareness” of policy makers for heat waves like the one currently occurring in Europe, which are expected to become more frequent due to climate change, at least until the 2060s.

According to the WMO, July 2022 did not make it to the top of the podium as parts of the world experienced below-average temperatures across the western Indian Ocean – from the Horn of Africa to southern India across much of Central as well as most of Australia.

In addition to the heat, parts of the world are experiencing severe drought. According to the WMO, July was drier than average in much of Europe, most of North America, large parts of South America, Central Asia and Australia.

In Portugal, July was the hottest month of the last 92 years, with temperatures almost always above normal and with a record of 47ºC in Pinhão, a new extreme for July on the continent. The July climate report released last week by the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) classifies the month of July 2022, in mainland Portugal, as extremely hot in relation to air temperature and very dry in relation to precipitation.