The first three weeks of July were warmest three-week period on record And the entire month is on track to be the hottest July (and month) on record, data from catmospheric analysis center WAS5 of the EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
These temperatures have been linked to heat waves across much of North America, Asia and Europe, which together with forest fires in countries like Canada and Greecehad significant repercussions on people’s health, the environment and economies, according to a note distributed this week by the International Meteorological Organization.
“We don’t have to wait until the end of the month to find out. Unless there’s a mini Ice Age in the next few days.july 2023 will hit records around”, declared the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.
Unless there is a mini Ice Age in the coming days, July 2023 will break records across all industries.
“According to the data published this Thursday, in July there were and the three warmest weeks on recordthe hottest three days on record and the highest ocean temperatures on record for this time of year,” Guterres told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
“For vast areas of North America, Asia, Africa and Europe it’s a cruel summer. For the entire planet, it’s a disaster. And for scientists, it is unequivocal: it’s the fault of humans. All this is fully consistent with repeated predictions and warnings. The only surprise is the speed of change,” said Guterres.
On July 6, the global average daily surface air temperature surpassed the record set in August 2016, making it the hottest day on record, with July 5 and July 7 immediately behind. The first three weeks of July were the warmest three weeks on record.
global average temperature exceeded temporarily the limit of 1.5°C per above the pre-industrial level, during the first and third week of the month (within the observations’ margin of error).
Since May, the global average sea surface temperature has been very on top of the previously observed values for the time of year; which contributed to the exceptionally warm month of July.
It is very likely that the month of July 2023 will be the hottest of all, after the hottest June in history. Based on ERA5 data, the warmest previous month on record was july 2019. Full ERA5 data for July will be available and will be published by C3S in its next monthly newsletter on August 8th.
Global daily surface air temperature (°C) from January 1, 1940 to July 23, 2023. / WMO
WMO collects data from C3S and five other international datasets for its climate monitoring activities and its reports on the state of the climate, says the institution’s note.
Carlo Buontempo, director of the ECMWF’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), explains that “record temperatures are part of thethe drastic increase in global temperatures”. Anthropogenic emissions are, ultimately, “the main driver of this increase in temperatures”, he adds.
“The July record is unlikely to stand alone this year; C3S seasonal forecasts indicate that over land areas temperatures will probably be well above average, exceeding the 80th percentile of the climate for the time of year”, reinforces the director of the research center.
Anthropogenic emissions are ultimately the main driver of this rise in temperatures
For his part, the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, ensures that “The extreme weather that affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a preview of the future. In his words, “the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever”. Therefore, he warns, “climate action is not a luxury, but an obligation”.
The WMO predicts that there is a 98% chance that at least one of the next five years will be the hottest ever recorded and 66% chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C above the 1850-1900 average for at least one of the five years. This does not mean that we will permanently overcome the level of 1.5°C specified in the Paris Agreementwhich refers to long-term warming over many years.
1. Highest average daily surface air temperatures recorded
According to the ERA5 dataset, the global average surface air temperature reached its highest daily value (17.08 °C) on July 6, 2023. This value was 0.01 °C compared to values recorded on the 5th and 7th of July. As shown in the chart above, every day since July 3 has been warmer than the previous record of 16.8°C on August 13, 2016.
2. Highest monthly average surface air temperature recorded in the world
Based on the ERA5 dataset, the global average surface air temperature for the first 23 days of July 2023 was 16.95°C. That value is well above the 16.63°C recorded for the entire month of July 2019, which is currently the hottest and hottest July on record. So far, the full monthly average temperature for July 2023 is virtually certain to exceed that of July 2019 by a significant margin, making July 2023 the hottest July and month on record.
3. Global sea surface temperatures well above average
Daily average sea surface temperatures (SST) in the extrapolar oceans (60°S-60°N) have maintained record values for the time of year since April 2023. Most notably, since mid-May, global SSTs have increased to levels unprecedented for the time of year. According to ERA5 data, on July 19, the daily value of SST reached 20.94 °C, only 0.01 °C from the highest value recorded on March 29, 2016 (20.95 °C).
4. New national temperature records
National meteorological and hydrological services have reported a range of daily and seasonal temperature records and are responsible for verifying any new national temperature records. Thus, China set a new national temperature record of 52.2 °C on July 16 (Turpan City, Xinjiang Province of China), according to the China Meteorological Administration. The WMO interim report on the state of the global climate in 2023, to be presented to COP28 in December, will incorporate details on new national temperature records.