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People cool off near the Pantheon in Rome, Italy, on August 22, 2023. Italy has seen extreme heat waves this summer.
As heatwaves continue to batter parts of the world, scientists report that this brutal and deadly summer was the hottest on record – and by a wide margin.
The period from June to August was the warmest period on Earth since records began in 1940, according to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
The average global temperature this summer was 16.77°C (62.19°F), according to Copernicus, which is 0.66°C higher than the average from 1990 to 2020 – surpassing the previous record, set in August 2019, by about 0.3°C. .
These records, which track average air temperature around the world, are typically broken by hundredths of a degree.
This is the first set of scientific data to confirm what many thought was inevitable. It was a Extremely hot summer For areas of the Northern Hemisphere – including parts of the United States, Europe and… Japan – With record heat waves and unprecedented ocean temperatures.
August was also the warmest month on record, according to new Copernicus data, and was warmer than any other month this year except July. The average global temperature for the month was 16.82 degrees Celsius, 0.31 degrees warmer than the previous record set in 2016.
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People seek relief from the heat in Tokyo, on July 30, 2023. Temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) and above have scorched the Japanese capital for weeks.
“Summer days are when dogs don’t just bark, they bite,” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said in a statement about the Copernicus data. “Our planet has just endured a season of boiling – the hottest summer on record. Climate collapse has begun.”
July and August are estimated to have been 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels, according to Copernicus. main threshold Scientists have long warned that the world must stay underground to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
As scientists focus more on long-term global warming, these temporary breaches represent an important preview of what the world can expect summer to look like. at 1.5 degrees of warming.
“The Northern Hemisphere has just experienced a summer full of extremes – with frequent heat waves Fueling devastating forest fires“Floods harm health, disrupt daily life and cause permanent damage to the environment,” Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said in a statement.
Southern Hemisphere countries have also experienced surprisingly warm winters, with temperatures well above average in Australia. several countries in South America and Antarctica.
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A billboard displays a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) during a record heat wave in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 18, 2023.
In July, a sudden sea heat wave off the coast of Florida brought the ocean into contact Hot tub temperatures.. While parts of the North Atlantic Ocean witnessed in June An “absolutely unprecedented” marine heat wave. With water temperatures up to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than normal.
Every day from the end of July to the end of August, ocean temperatures exceed the previous record set in 2016, according to Copernicus.
It’s not yet clear if this will be the warmest year on record on Earth, but it sure looks like it’s getting close.
With four months left until the end of the year, 2023 currently ranks as the second hottest year on record, according to Copernicus, by only 0.01 degrees Celsius from 2016, which is currently the warmest year on record.
Scientists say next year It is likely to be hotterDue to the arrival of the El Niño phenomenon, which is a natural climate fluctuation that leads to higher sea surface temperatures than the average and affects the weather.
“This El Niño is developing in a much warmer ocean than any previous El Niño, so we are watching with interest how this event evolves in terms of strength and impact,” Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess told CNN.
The summer has been a record-breaking summer, Burgess said, and it will only get worse if the world continues to burn fossil fuels that are heating the planet.
“The scientific evidence is overwhelming – we will continue to see more climate records and more frequent, intense extreme weather events affecting society and ecosystems, until we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” she said in a statement.
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