Scorching temperatures this year broke records, including July becoming the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, scientists said Thursday.
The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees above the 20th century average of 60.4 degrees, the hottest temperature that month since scientists began keeping track 140 years ago, according to meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The previous hottest month on record was July 2016.
The period from January through July was also the second-hottest year to date on record, tying with 2017. The global temperature during that time was 1.71 degrees above the recorded average of 56.9 degrees, according to NOAA.
Ahira Sanchez-Lugo, one of the organization's National Centers for Environmental Information scientists, told ABC News in an email that as the temperatures continue to warm, extreme events such as heat waves and droughts will continue to become more common.
"As the frequency and intensity of these extremes change, we become increasingly vulnerable as these changes can affect our health as well as our food and water sources," Sanchez-Lugo said.
Heat warnings slammed much of the eastern half of the U.S. -- from Kansas to Ohio and North Carolina to New Hampshire -- last month.
On July 19, several heat index readings came close to setting records throughout the eastern region.
Some of the temperatures the following day, in places like New York City and Philadelphia, were expected to be the hottest in several years.
In Europe, a heat wave in July produced the highest-ever temperatures in Belgium and Germany, while the Netherlands saw its hottest day in 75 years, according to The Associated Press.