Earth’s average temperature on Wednesday matched a record high set on Tuesday of 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit (17.18 degrees Celsius)—the hottest since records were first collected 44 years ago.
That’s according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, which uses satellite data and computer simulations to measure temperature and other climate conditions.
The figures are not an official government record, but “this is showing us an indication of where we are right now,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief scientist Sarah Kapnick.
NOAA indicated it would take the figures into consideration for its official record calculations.
July 4th’s record high broke the globe’s previous day’s hottest-ever record on July 3.
And climate scientists have warned that the record is not expected to hold for long. Citing a combination of climate change and El Niño—a weakening of trade winds that causes northern U.S. and Canada to be dryer and warmer than usual—this week’s record average temperature is expected to be the first of many in the coming months.
“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.
Climate Reanalyzer’s data points to an exceptionally mild winter in the Antarctic as one of the main contributors to this week’s record high temperatures. Parts of the South Pole’s continent and its nearby ocean are currently 18-36 degrees Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius) warmer than averages from 1979-2000.
The United States has recently experienced the consequences of the rising temperatures. In Texas and the South, a heat wave in late June sent Fahrenheit temperatures into the triple digits, with the heat index making it feel hotter than 110 degrees in some of the regions most populous cities.
Emergency room visits surged in Texas during the heat event, and at least nine people died amid the sweltering temperatures.
Heat is the deadliest natural disaster known to humans, killing more every year than other extreme weather events, including flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.