July 2023 has officially claimed the title of the warmest month ever documented. The UN’s weather agency and its partners confirmed that the global average temperature for July 2023 reached unprecedented heights, likely unmatched in at least 120,000 years. Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, stated that July’s global average temperature surpassed any previous records. It’s estimated to have been approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the average from 1815 to 1900, representing pre-industrial times.
Heatwaves were a hallmark of July, affecting various regions worldwide. Based on proxy records, which include data from cave deposits, calcifying organisms, coral, and shells, Copernicus experts highlighted that the Earth hasn’t experienced this level of warmth for over 120,000 years.
Global sea surface temperatures also set new records, with unusually high temperatures in April leading to a 0.51-degree Celsius increase in ocean surface warming in July, compared to the 1991-2020 average.
Chris Hewitt, Director of Climate Services at the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), emphasized the agency’s May prediction that there’s a 98 percent probability that one of the next five years will rank among the warmest on record. He noted a 66 percent likelihood of temporarily exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold above pre-industrial levels.
WMO further noted that 2015 to 2022 constituted the eight warmest years in over 170 years of readings, even amidst Pacific ocean La Niña conditions that typically mitigate global average temperatures.
This ongoing warming trend arises from the persistent increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, all reaching record highs. Hewitt explained that the warmest year on record, 2016, was influenced by a potent El Niño event coupled with long-term climate system warming.
Re-reported from the article originally published in UN News