The scorching heat waves persisting in various regions of the world have led scientists to declare that this summer has been the hottest on record, and the deviation from previous records is substantial.
Based on data collected by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, the period from June to August marked the planet’s hottest summer since the commencement of temperature records in 1940.
The global average temperature for this summer was measured at 16.77 degrees Celsius (62.19 Fahrenheit), as reported by Copernicus.
This reading is 0.66 degrees Celsius above the average temperature spanning from 1990 to 2020. Moreover, it surpasses the prior record set in August 2019 by nearly 0.3 degrees Celsius.
Earth had hottest summer on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and much extreme weather – World Meteorological Organisation pic.twitter.com/EbwuNuH1qt
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) September 6, 2023
Usually, records of this nature, which monitor the average air temperature across the entire globe, are broken by very small margins, often just hundredths of a degree. This recent data is the first solid scientific evidence to confirm what many had feared was inevitable, reported CNN.
It has indeed been an exceptionally hot summer for many regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of the United States, Europe, and Japan.
June, July, and August—record-breaking warmest months
The planet has witnessed its hottest June on record, and this scorching trend continued with the hottest July, surpassing previous records by significant margins.
August also followed suit by becoming the warmest August ever recorded, as revealed by the latest data from Copernicus.
It’s worth noting that August’s global average temperature of 16.82 degrees Celsius was 0.31 degrees warmer than the previous record established in 2016.
‘Climate breakdown’: 2023 likely to be hottest year humanity has experienced
2023 is likely to be the hottest year in human history, and global temperatures during the Northern Hemisphere summer were the warmest on record, the EU climate monitor said on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/uH00nf9Ogr
— Emeka Gift Official (@EmekaGift100) September 6, 2023
“The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting,” remarked António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in response to the Copernicus data.
He pointed out that scientists have been issuing warnings for some time regarding the consequences of our heavy reliance on fossil fuels. The current state of our climate is deteriorating more rapidly than we can handle, with extreme weather events affecting every part of the globe.
July and August going to surpass the key threshold of 1.5 degrees
Copernicus data indicates that both July and August recorded temperatures approximately 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels.
This 1.5-degree threshold is a critical point. Scientists have consistently cautioned the world to stay below this level to avert the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.
While scientists primarily concentrate on long-term global temperature trends, these temporary breaches of the 1.5-degree mark serve as crucial glimpses into what future summers could resemble if we reach 1.5 degrees of warming.
Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said, “The Northern Hemisphere just had a summer of extremes.” He highlighted the persistent heatwaves that fueled destructive wildfires, posed health risks, disrupted daily routines, and inflicted lasting damage on the environment.