(CTN News) – Amidst a series of blistering heatwaves, July 2023 is on the verge of becoming the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, surpassing the previous record set in 2019. Scientists are confident that the global temperature will break the 2019 record with several days remaining, making it virtually certain.
The unprecedented heat has alarmed researchers, who attribute the warming trend mainly to the continued use of fossil fuels, leading to the onset of an “era of global boiling,” as UN Chief Antonio Guterres warned.
UN Chief’s Warning: Entering an “Era of Global Boiling”
The escalating heat in July has heightened concerns about the planet’s future. UN Chief Antonio Guterres emphasizes that the Earth is entering an “era of global boiling,” highlighting the urgency of addressing the ongoing climate crisis. The effects of climate change are no longer deniable, and the ramifications are felt worldwide.
President Biden Acknowledges Climate Change as an “Existential Threat”
US President Joe Biden acknowledges the reality of climate change and refers to it as an “existential threat.” The severity of the ongoing heat waves and their impact on communities and ecosystems underscores the necessity for immediate action to combat climate change and mitigate its consequences.
July 2023: On Track to Break the Record for the Warmest Month
Scientists and climate experts are not surprised by the likelihood of July 2023 breaking the current record for the warmest month. The Copernicus Climate Change Service reports that the hottest 23 days recorded were all in July 2023, with the warmest day occurring on July 6. The provisional average temperature for the first 25 days of the month is 16.95°C, significantly surpassing the entire month’s average temperature of 16.63°C in July 2019.
Indications of Escalating Heat Levels
The extreme heat experienced in July 2023 has been evident through various indicators. The soaring temperatures have been closely linked to the continuous use of fossil fuels, driving greenhouse gas emissions to unprecedented levels. These indications have raised concerns about the intensifying global heating and its consequences on ecosystems and human communities.
Data Analysis and Projections
Dr. Karsten Haustein from the University of Leipzig has calculated that July 2023 will likely be 1.3°C to 1.7°C above the average temperatures recorded before the widespread use of fossil fuels. The best estimate places it around 1.5°C above the pre-industrial average. Even with a few remaining cooler days, the margin of error is sufficient to confirm July 2023 as the hottest month on record.
Historical Comparisons: Unprecedented Warmth in Millennia
Climate scientists have attempted to compare the current global warming trend with historical climate data. By analyzing evidence from polar ice cores and deep ocean sediments, they estimate that the world has not experienced such warmth for around 120,000 years.
During that era, sea levels were approximately 8 meters higher than present, and hippos could be found as far north as Britain. The significance of these historical comparisons emphasizes the unprecedented nature of the current climate crisis.
The Methodology Behind Temperature Estimations
Scientists utilize data from weather stations worldwide to calculate global air temperatures accurately. However, due to limitations in station coverage, they supplement this data with information from the atmosphere, combining all available readings into computer models. This allows for a comprehensive estimation of global temperatures, even before the end of the month.
Looking Beyond Weather Stations: Data from Polar Ice Cores and Ocean Sediments
Researchers rely on ancient climate signals trapped in polar ice cores and ocean sediments to assess temperatures from thousands of years ago. While it is challenging to pinpoint specific monthly temperatures from such distant periods, the evidence suggests that the warmth observed in July 2023 has not been seen in tens of thousands of years.
Conclusion: The Urgent Need for Climate Action
The projected record-breaking warmth of July 2023 is a stark reminder of the urgent need for global action to address climate change. As temperatures rise, the impacts on ecosystems, human health, and livelihoods will become increasingly severe.
World leaders, organizations, and individuals must take collective and immediate measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement sustainable practices to safeguard the planet’s future.