July 2023 widely broke the record for the hottest month on record on Earthwith 0.33º C more than the previous record of July 2019, announced this Tuesday the European observatory Copernicus.
Last month was also marked by heat waves and fires around the worldwith average temperatures in the atmosphere 0.72º C higher than the recent July averages between 1991 and 2020.
Suspense among specialists was in short supply, as on July 27, even before the month was out, scientists had deemed it “extremely likely” that July 2023 would be the warmest month on record, all seasons combined.
In the words of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, Humanity has left the era of global warming to enter the era of “global boiling.”
The oceans are also victims of this worrying phenomenon: the temperatures recorded on the sea surface are abnormally high since April and the levels registered in July are unprecedented.
The absolute record was broken on July 30, with 20.96°C. Throughout the month, the sea surface temperature was 0.51°C above the average (1991-2020).
“We have just witnessed new records for both global air and ocean surface temperatures in July. These records have dire consequences for populations and the planet, which are exposed to more extreme, frequent and intense events,” said Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
Signs of global warming caused by human activities – starting with the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) – have appeared simultaneously all over the world.
Greece suffered great fires, as Canadawhich on the other hand was the victim of terrible floods.
Successive heat waves in southern Europethe north of Africathe south of USA and part of China they have been overwhelming.
The scientific network World Weather Attribution (WWA) has already concluded that the recent heat waves in Europe and the United States would have been “practically impossible” without the effect of human activity.
Copernicus also indicates that Antarctic sea ice has reached its lowest level in a month of July since the beginning of satellite observations, 15% below the average for that month.
“2023 is the third warmest year so far with 0.43°C above the recent average” and “a global average temperature in July of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”, adds Samantha Burgess.
This figure of 1.5°C is highly symbolic because it is the most ambitious limit set by the 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming.
However, the threshold to which this international agreement refers refers to averages of many years and not of a single month.
“While all this is only temporary, it shows the urgency of ambitious efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, which are the main cause of these records,” concludes Samantha Burgess.
And the year 2023 may not have finished breaking records.
“For 2023, a relatively warm end to the year is expected due to the development of the El Niño phenomenon,” recalls Copernicus.
This cyclical weather phenomenon over the Pacific is, in fact, synonymous with additional global warming.
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