Wednesday became the third straight day the world registered a record-breaking high.
The world recorded the hottest day ever this week. After breaking the record on Monday, the global average temperature spiked once more on Tuesday 4 July.
Temperatures remained steady into Wednesday, marking the third straight day Earth unofficially saw a record-breaking high.
The globe's average temperature reached 17.18 degrees Celsius on both Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer. Based on satellite data, observations and computer simulations, the tool is used by climate scientists for a glimpse of the world’s condition.
On Monday, the average temperature was 17.01°C, according to data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction. This surpassed the August 2016 record of 16.92°C and set a record that lasted only 24 hours.
Heatwaves across Europe are evidence of global warming
“A record like this is another piece of evidence for the now massively supported proposition that global warming is pushing us into a hotter future,” said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, who was not part of the calculations.
Countries across Europe have faced intense heat in recent weeks, with the Spanish city of Seville naming an extreme heat event for the second time ever. After a record-breakingly hot June, the UK is bracing for a scorching July.
The weather phenomenon El Niño is back, with the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warning that it could threaten lives with extreme heat.France and Germany have launched campaigns to prevent heatwave deaths.
Where else is suffering from extreme heat?
Around the world, countries are facing even greater extremes. China is sweltering under an enduring heatwave with temperatures above 35°C. North Africa has seen temperatures near 50°C.
Last month, temperatures in India hit 43.5°C, hospitalising hundreds and killing nearly 170 people.
The southern US has also been suffering under intense heat dome in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, 38 million Americans were under some kind of heat alert, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief scientist Sarah Kapnick.
Even Antarctica, currently in its winter, registered anomalously high temperatures. Ukraine's Vernadsky Research Base in the white continent's Argentine Islands recently broke its July temperature record with 8.7°C.
'A death sentence for people and ecosystems'
"This is not a milestone we should be celebrating," said climate scientist Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain's Imperial College London of Monday's record.
"It's a death sentence for people and ecosystems."
Scientists said climate change, combined with an emerging El Niño pattern, were to blame.
"Unfortunately, it promises to only be the first in a series of new records set this year as increasing emissions of [carbon dioxide] and greenhouse gases coupled with a growing El Nino event push temperatures to new highs," said Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at Berkeley Earth, in a statement.