July 2023 was the hottest month on Earth on record, the EU’s climate body said Tuesday, setting another landmark in the year global warming became almost impossible to ignore.
“2023 is currently the third-warmest year to date at 0.43C above the recent average, with the average global temperature in July at 1.5C above preindustrial levels,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
“We just witnessed global air temperatures and global ocean surface temperatures set new all-time records in July. These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever more frequent and intense extreme events,” she said.
Burgess added that findings show the urgency for determined efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
– More records, widespread heat waves
July 2023 was 0.72C warmer than the 1991-2020 average for July, and 0.33C warmer than the previous warmest month, July 2019.
The hottest day was July 6, when the global average temperature reached 17.08C (62.7F), and the values recorded on July 5 and 7 were within 0.01C of this. This means that the first three weeks of the month were the warmest three-week period on record.
As a result, heat waves were experienced in multiple regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including southern Europe, and well-above-average temperatures occurred over several South American countries and around much of the Antarctic.
In addition, global average sea surface temperatures continued to soar, after a long period of unusually high temperatures since April 2023, reaching record-high levels in July.
Consequently, in July, global average sea surface temperatures were 0.51C above the 1991-2020 average.
Meanwhile, the extent of Antarctic Sea ice continued to break records for the time of year, with a monthly value 15% below average.
Similarly, up to June, the daily Antarctic Sea ice extent remained significantly below previously observed values for that time of year throughout the month.
As for hydrological variables, according to the statement, July 2023 was wetter than average over most of northern Europe and in a region from the Black Sea and Ukraine to northwestern Russia.
As such, drier-than-average conditions were experienced across the Mediterranean basin, with Italy and southeastern Europe seeing the largest anomalies.