This July 2023, the world has experienced a historic event: it’s officially become the hottest month ever recorded. It is believed that July 2023 may have been the hottest month in the past 120,000 years. The average temperature during this period was approximately 1.5°C higher than pre-industrial levels before the planet underwent significant warming due to human activities such as burning coal, oil, and gas. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization and the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service official data, setting a new global temperature record.
The recent 1.5°C temperature rise this month does not necessarily indicate that governments have completely failed to meet the 1.5°C limit set in the Paris Agreement. The measurement of average warming takes into account a longer-term timescale, so it’s important to consider the broader trend. However, it also highlights the insufficient actions taken by governments to reduce emissions. As a result, the world is currently on track to fall short of meeting the targets set in the Paris Agreement.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, remarked on the data stating ” The consequences are clear and they are tragic: children swept away by monsoon rains; families running from the flames; workers collapsing in scorching heat.”
He went on to state ” For the entire planet, it is a disaster. And for scientists, it is unequivocal – humans are to blame. The only surprise is the speed of the change and leaders must lead, with no more hesitancy and no more excuses.”
There remains a crucial window of opportunity to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, thereby averting the most severe impacts of climate change. The upcoming Africa Climate Summit, G20 Summit, UN Climate Ambition, and COP28 are pivotal moments for world leaders to rise to the occasion and take unprecedented actions.
The fossil fuel phase-out and phase-down debate rages on with the recent G20 energy ministerial meeting in Goa facing division and yielding no progress. This report may be the wake-up call needed for the G20 summit leaders, who’s countries responsible for 80% of global emissions to step up for climate action and climate justice.
July’s Historic Records
- 23 consecutive days of global temperatures above previous record and counting.
- Possible hottest ever ocean waters in one location: Ocean waters in Florida reach 101.19F (38.43C), which if confirmed would beat the previous hottest reliably recorded temperature by 0.83C (no official records of local SST are maintained).
- Hottest night ever recorded globally: Death Valley, USA was 120F/48.9C after midnight
- Hottest recorded global ocean temperature in July: Global sea surface temperatures smash records for time of year, just 0.1C lower than all time record (set in April 2023).
- Hottest night ever recorded in Africa: Algeria recorded a record high daily minimum temperature of 39.6C. Doctors say high nighttime temperatures are a silent killer.
- Hottest night ever recorded in Europe: Palermo, Sicily in Italy reached record high daily minimum temperature of 37.2C
- Hottest day ever recorded in China: 52.2C, also hottest recorded temperature above 43N latitude.
- Record low Antarctic sea ice recorded for July (switch hemisphere to view Antarctica) – One in 13 billion year event without climate change. Christiana Figueres: “No words.”
- Hottest ever temperatures recorded in the Mediterranean sea: 28.4C, a month before usual temperature peaks.
- Record number of consecutive days with highs above 110F (43.3C) for major US cities: Phoenix Arizona with 27 and counting (previous record 18).
- Hottest temperature ever recorded in Albania: 44C Kucova
- Record consecutive days above 35C in Beijing: 27 days.
- Hottest temperature recorded in Rome: 42.9C, 2.2C hotter than previous record set only in 2022 – also national record for Vatican City.
- Record breaking monsoons in South Asia: Mumbai had its wettest July ever, while record rainfall was recorded in Lahore, Pakistan.