The average temperature around the world last month was 16.77°C and August 2023 became the second hottest month in history – after July 2023. UN Secretary General: ‘The scorching days are no longer just barking, but also biting’
After new records have been set for the hottest day in history and the hottest month in the last 120,000 years, the Copernicus Climate Change Service of the European Union on Wednesday morning officially announced that summer 2023 was the hottest summer since measurements began. The average temperature all over the world (in the northern and southern hemispheres; in the air, on land and at sea; day and night) was 16.77°C, 0.66°C more than the average. A similar announcement was made by the World Meteorological Organization.
The data also shows that the average temperature in continental Europe over the summer was 19.63°C, 0.83°C higher than the average. Copernicus reported that it was the fifth hottest summer season in Europe.
In the months of June, July and August, record temperatures were recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean and in other areas of oceans around the world. In summer 2023, marine heat waves were recorded in several areas throughout Europe, including around Ireland and Great Britain in June, and in the Mediterranean Sea in July and August.
In addition, the European Union said that Iceland, northern Scandinavia, central Europe, large parts of Asia, Canada, most of South America and other regions of the world experienced drier than average conditions during the summer. In some areas, these dry conditions have led to huge wildfires.
Copernicus said that August 2023 was the hottest month of August in recorded history, and hotter than all other months ever – except July 2023, which holds the record for the hottest month in history. The global average air temperature was 16.82°C, which is 0.71°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average. In addition, August 2023 was 0.31°C warmer than the previous record for this month, which was set in 2016. August was estimated to be 1.5°C warmer than the 1850-1900 average. .
Last month, heat waves were recorded in multiple areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including southern Europe, the southern United States and Japan. Much higher-than-average temperatures were recorded over Australia, several countries in South America and a large part of Antarctica.
And will 2023 be the hottest year in history? European Union data shows that the global temperature in the first eight months of the year is second to 2016, which still holds the title of the hottest year in history. But it is possible that 2023 will break the record – since it is a difference of only 0.01 °C.
“The scorching days are no longer just barking, but also biting,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, using the term “dog days”, which is used in English to describe the hot and steamy days of summer. “Climate collapse has begun,” he added.
Climatologist Prof. Andrew Weaver said the figures announced by Copernicus and the UN’s World Meteorological Organization are not surprising, and lamented that governments are not taking the issue of global warming seriously enough. He expressed concern that the public will forget the issue when temperatures drop again in the autumn and winter months.
“It’s time for world leaders to start telling the truth,” said Prof. Weaver of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria in Canada. “We will not limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius; nor will we limit warming to 2 degrees. Everything is in the hands of the steering wheel now to prevent global warming of 3 degrees – a level of warming that would wreak havoc around the world.”