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Tuesday, August 11, 1998 Published at 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK

World: Americas

World's hottest ever month recorded

Lake Arlington, Texas: water level is 13ft below normal

Figures published in the United States show that July was the world's hottest month ever recorded.

The BBC's Janice Stradling: 'There are concerns about rising pollution'
The US Vice President Al Gore said the heat-wave reflected a dangerous trend. He predicted that storms, droughts and floods would get worse unless steps were taken to stop global warming.

[ image: Israel is also facing a record-breaking heat-wave]
Israel is also facing a record-breaking heat-wave
According to data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average global temperature in July was 61.7 °F (16 °C) - the highest monthly figures since 1880, when the first reliable records began.

The temperature was 1.26 °F higher than the long-term average for July and 0.45 °F higher than previous record for the month, set in 1997.

In the US, parts of Texas had 29 consecutive days with temperatures above 100°F (38° C).

US Vice President Al Gore: 'The hottest month on record, period'
The heat has also taken its toll in other parts of the world. On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus more than 52 people have died from the effects of a heat-wave during the past week.

Tackling global warming

Announcing the figures, Mr Gore said: "The good news is we can stop this."

"We know what to do ... It will be hard, but we can do something about it. If we do not do something about it, then what we have been experiencing this summer ... is going to get to be a lot more common, and it will get worse."

[ image: Al Gore: It could get worse]
Al Gore: It could get worse
Mr Gore, who helped break a stalemate at a United Nations conference on global warming in Kyoto, Japan, has long been an advocate for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

But the Clinton administration has yet to persuade Congress to ratify the Kyoto agreement, which calls for industrial nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% below 1990 levels by the year 2010.

US opponents say the treaty would hurt the American economy and favour developing nations.

The White House has decided to delay submitting the treaty to the Senate until it convinces developing nations, including China, to accept limits on emissions.

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