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European scientists make it official. July was the hottest month on record by far

by Madison Thomas
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fokus keyword: climate change

The European climate monitoring agency has officially declared that July 2023 was the Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, exceeding the previous record by a substantial margin.

The global average temperature for July reached 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 degrees Fahrenheit), a third of a degree Celsius (0.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the prior record established in 2019, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a branch of the European Union’s space program, which made the announcement on Tuesday. This deviation is notable since global temperature records are usually broken by mere hundredths or a tenth of a degree.

Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess emphasized the severe implications of these records, noting that they indicate a growing trend of more frequent and intense extreme weather events that are affecting both people and the planet. Lethal heatwaves have occurred in the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. Rapid scientific studies attribute these phenomena to human-driven climate change resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Since July 2, the days in July have been hotter than ever recorded before, prompting Copernicus and the World Meteorological Organization to make the rare early declaration that it was likely the hottest month even before the month’s end. Tuesday’s figures confirmed this.

Last month’s temperature was a significant 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average July temperature from 1991 to 2020, Copernicus reported. The world’s oceans were 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the previous three decades, with the North Atlantic 1.05 degrees Celsius (1.9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average. Antarctica also marked record lows for sea ice, which was 15% below the average for this period of the year.

The records of Copernicus extend back to 1940, surpassing any monthly temperature that the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has documented since 1850. However, scientists contend that it’s the hottest in an even longer timeframe.

Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany, termed it an astonishing record and asserted that it’s the warmest month on Earth in 10,000 years. He referred to research utilizing tree rings and other methods, showing that the current era is the warmest since the start of the Holocene Epoch, approximately 10,000 years ago. Rahmstorf further reasoned that this could logically be considered the warmest record for 120,000 years.

Imperial College of London climate scientist Friederike Otto warned that the focus should not be on July’s record itself but on the fact that it likely won’t remain a record for long. Otto emphasized that this is indicative of the significant alterations humans have made to the climate, and that society is now living in a world for which it is ill-prepared.

Big Big News’ climate and environmental reporting can be followed at their dedicated webpage, and Seth Borenstein’s Twitter account @borenbears offers further updates. Supported by several private foundations, Big Big News maintains full responsibility for the content of their climate initiative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: climate change

What month and year has been declared as the Earth’s hottest on record?

July 2023 has been declared as the Earth’s hottest month on record.

Who made the announcement about the record-breaking temperature?

The announcement was made by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, a division of the European Union’s space program.

How much higher was July 2023’s global average temperature compared to the previous record?

July 2023’s global average temperature was a third of a degree Celsius (six tenths of a degree Fahrenheit) higher than the previous record set in 2019.

What regions have experienced deadly heatwaves during this period?

Deadly heatwaves have occurred in the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

What are the potential consequences of these record-breaking temperatures?

The consequences include dire effects on both people and the planet, with exposure to more frequent and intense extreme events. It is an indicator of significant changes in the climate due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

What does the record low sea ice in Antarctica signify?

The record low sea ice in Antarctica, 15% below average for this time of year, is part of the broader pattern of temperature changes and may be related to the overall warming of the planet.

How do scientists ascertain that this is the warmest period in such a long historical frame?

Scientists like Stefan Rahmstorf have cited studies that use methods like tree rings and other proxies to show that the present times are the warmest since the beginning of the Holocene Epoch, about 10,000 years ago. It is even suggested that this could be the warmest record for 120,000 years.

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