HOTTEST MONTH 'IN HISTORY OF THE WORLD'; July Global Temperature Shatters Record

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Byline: DAVID DERBYSHIRE

JULY was the hottest month across the world since global records began, it was revealed yesterday.

The announcement brought dire warnings that, without dramatic action, increased global warming will unleash a series of disasters to dwarf the recent droughts, storms, flooding and record heatwaves which have struck across the globe.

Announcing the figures from the White House, U.S. Vice President Al Gore declared: 'This was the hottest July in the history of the world since modern records have been kept.' He went on: 'This isn't just the hottest July on record. It was the hottest month since we began keeping reliable records more than 118 years ago.' The data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration means world temperature records have been shattered every month since the beginning of the year.

'When you break the record seven months in a row it is really hard to ignore the fact that something is going on - and that something is global warming,' said Mr Gore.

In a powerful plea to curb greenhouse gas emissions, he added: 'Scientists say unless we act, we can expect even more extreme weather.' The average global temperature last month was 61.7F - some 1.3 degrees above normal for the time of year and nearly half a degree higher than the previous all-time monthly record in July 1997.

The figures were issued on the day temperatures in parts of Britain hit the 90s and rose to 107F in France.

In Cyprus 48 people, mainly over the age of 70, have died and hundreds more have been taken to hospital in the most severe heatwave in 30 years with temperatures topping 104F.

In Dallas, Texas, it has not dropped below 100F for the last 29 days. At least 124 people have died from the heat.

'You don't have to be a scientist to know it's been dangerously hot this summer,' said Mr Gore. 'There's already an overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is influencing the climate.' Many scientists blame the build-up of carbon dioxide and other 'greenhouse' gases from car fumes and factories.

A vocal minority, however, still claims global warming is part of the world's natural heating cycle - and that changes in the sun's activity could be to blame. …