Summer 2023 "by far" the hottest on record
The summer of 2023 was “by far” the hottest ever recorded globally, reports the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service. The temperature on Earth was an average of 16.77 degrees in the months of June, July, and August, the service calculated. That is 0.66 degrees higher than average.
Measurements had already made it clear that the month of July had broken the heat record. August was also warmer than the same month in all previous years for which Copernicus has measurement data.
The institute estimates that in this summer month, the temperature on Earth was about 1.5 degrees higher than before global warming started. But one month’s measurement does not immediately mean the Paris Climate Agreement has already been shattered. In that agreement, world leaders agreed to try to keep the temperature increase well below 2 degrees, and preferably below 1.5 degrees.
Commenting on the figures, Copernicus director Samantha Burgess reiterated the “overwhelming scientific evidence” of climate change. “We will continue to see record climates and an increase in extreme weather events, impacting society and ecosystems until we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” she warned.
The European body constantly analyzes measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft, and weather stations worldwide. Based on this, the service gets a good picture of the weather on Earth.
Despite heat waves and other weather extremes, the heat record was not broken in Europe. On average, the summer of 2023 is the fifth warmest summer ever on the continent.
The seawater has also warmed significantly. A new record was set in the North Atlantic on August 31. At the surface, the seawater reached 25.19 degrees, which was unprecedented. Worldwide, the sea temperature was also well above the long-term average at almost 21 degrees.
Apart from climate change, the natural phenomenon of El Niño is developing. It is a recurring phenomenon in which the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean rises sharply for about six months, with significant effects on weather systems.
In the figures published on Wednesday, Copernicus also addressed the diminishing amount of sea ice around Antarctica. It fell to the lowest level since satellite measurements began.
Reporting by ANP