Scientists are highly confident that July is poised to become the hottest month ever documented, and this record is expected to hold true even with four days left in the month.
Coming right after the warmest June ever recorded on a global scale, July is set to break two records: the warmest July and the warmest month ever experienced.
“Scientists have been warning us about this for a very long time,” Chris Hewitt, director of Climate Services at the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. And now “we are seeing this trend”, he said.
Attributing the intensified global average temperatures to the extreme heatwaves that have plagued North America, China, and Europe, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) emphasised that these heatwaves have had significant adverse impacts on human health. In fact, scientific data released on Tuesday indicated that the heatwaves in Europe and the US would have been practically impossible without the influence of human-induced climate change.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “All this is entirely consistent with predictions and repeated warnings.
“The only surprise is the speed of the change. Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning.”
Prior to this, the world’s highest recorded monthly average temperature was seen in either July 2019 or July 2022, both of which reached an average of approximately 16.6 degrees Celsius.
Although some uncertainties existed due to the inability of organisations to have thermometers in every location worldwide, the provisional figures from the EU’s Copernicus service suggest that July 2023 is likely to surpass 16.9 degrees Celsius or more.
Mr Hewitt said: “A few tenths of a degree is quite a lot in a global average surface temperature.”
This marked difference in temperatures sets the stage for scientists’ unwavering confidence that a new record for the hottest month is within reach.
The current month has already witnessed a slew of extreme climate events, including the hottest three-week period ever recorded, the three hottest days on record, and the highest ocean temperatures for this time of year. Assessing global averages proves valuable as it allows experts to smooth out regional weather fluctuations, offering a comprehensive overview of the overall warming trend since the widespread use of fossil fuels began.
Mr Hewitt added: “The weather will continue to vary between hot and cold, wet and dry, windy and not windy. But as the climate warms, you’ll be shifting towards more likelihood for the hot days and warmer conditions.”
This year could bring further monthly heat records, he said.
“Over the next few months and throughout this year, we don’t see any respite in this warming at the moment.”
“It looks like the warming for the whole planet will continue this year.”
Contrastingly, the United Kingdom has experienced cooler-than-average weather recently. However, the UK’s Met Office has issued a warning that the staggering heat experienced in the past, which was once deemed extraordinary, will become the new normal by the year 2060.
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