Several meteorological agencies worldwide have said that this month’s temperatures would break the previous mark.
The European weather service Copernicus said on Tuesday that July was the hottest month ever recorded. The weather experts said that so far, this year has been the third hottest on record. This means that 2023 can beat 2016 as the hottest year on record.
Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess told the Financial Times on Tuesday, “These records are bad news for both people and the planet, which are facing extreme events that are happening more often and getting worse.”
The average monthly temperature was 16.95 degrees Celsius, 62.51 degrees Fahrenheit. This was about 0.3 degrees C (0.6 degrees F) hotter than July 2019, which held the previous record, and about 0.7 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) hotter than the average July from 1991 to 2020.
The news proved that the EU body and the World Meteorological Organisation were right when they said last month that July’s temperatures would be much higher than the record. The two groups said that the first three weeks of July were the warmest three weeks ever recorded worldwide and that July 6 was the hottest single day.
Also, global average sea surface temperatures hit a record high in July, according to Copernicus. The oceans were 0.9 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) hotter than they had been for the past 30 years, and Antarctic sea ice cover was measured at 15% below the average for this time of year, which was less than any July on record.
The average temperature in July was 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) higher than it was in the pre-industrial era. Climate scientists have focused on this number because the Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees over the long term.
Copernicus said that July 2019 was the warmest month on record, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the average temperature of the land and ocean surface in July 2021 was 0.93 degrees Celsius higher than the average temperature of the 20th century. This beat the records set in July 2016, 2019, and 2020. Copernicus’s numbers for July are better than the NOAA’s for 2021, but the NOAA hasn’t said anything as of Tuesday.
Copernicus’ temperature records only go back to 1940, and the NOAA’s only go back to 1850. This makes it hard for climate experts to put today’s heat waves in context. Even so, some experts, like Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, told HuffPost that July was “the warmest month on Earth in ten thousand years” or even 120,000 years, citing studies that look at things like tree rings.