July this year set to be the hottest month on record, finds analysis
On July 6, the daily average global mean surface air temperature surpassed the record set in August 2016, making it the hottest day on record
July this year is set to be the hottest month on record, with high temperatures causing heatwaves in parts of North America, Asia and Europe, along with wildfires in Canada and Greece, a new analysis by EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has highlighted.
The report added that it is extremely likely that July 2023 will be the hottest month on record. Data shows that the previous hottest month on record was July 2019.
The report released on Thursday shows that on July 6, the daily average global mean surface air temperature surpassed the record set in August 2016, making it the hottest day on record. Close behind were the temperature recordings of July 5 and July 7.
“The first three weeks of July have been the warmest three-week period on record. Global mean temperature temporarily exceeded the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold above pre-industrial level during the first and third week of the month (within observational error). Since May, the global average sea surface temperature has been well above previously observed values for the time of the year; contributing to the exceptionally warm July,” the report read.
Dr Karsten Haustein, who conducted the analysis, explained that the record comes as El Nino — a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean — has just been declared in the tropical Pacific.
“While contributing to the warmth, the fundamental reason for why we are seeing such records is the continued release of vast amounts of greenhouse gases by humans. Since the effects of El Nino only fully emerge in the second half of the year, June — and now July — are likely followed by more record warm months up until at least early 2024,” Dr Haustein said.
He added, “Such dramatic climatic changes also trigger unprecedented marine and continental heatwaves, increasing the risk for record shattering temperature extremes across the globe. China, Southern Europe and North America all saw record or near-record temperatures these past weeks.”
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, current policies for cutting emissions would lead to a level of warming — nearly 3°C — that would threaten food and water security, increase ill-health and deaths, flood coastal communities, destroy ecosystem and lead to cascading and interacting disasters. Experts back home agreed that India will also face devastating impacts of extreme weather recordings in the coming years.
Roxy Mathew Koll, climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said that monsoon rainfall patterns over India have seen a climatic shift in recent decades. The most significant change is that instead of having moderate rains spread out through the monsoon season, we have long dry periods intermittent with short spells of heavy rains, causing floods and droughts in the same season and occasionally in the same region or different parts of India, he said.
“The pace of global warming is now accelerated, and we need urgent action as these extreme conditions will only intensify in the near future. Climate action and adaptation at local levels should go parallel with mitigation at global and national levels. I am concerned that there is less focus on local adaptation. Instead of waiting for weather forecasts every year, we need to disaster-proof locally, based on sub-district wise assessment,” Koll said.