Tourists with umbrellas protect themselves from the sun during named heatwave Nerone in Rome, Italy on Aug. 19, 2023. Stefano Montesi / Corbis via Getty Images
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The Copernicus Climate Change Service has found that June through August of this year had the highest global temperatures for summer on record. Additionally, sea surface temperatures of the North Atlantic and globally have reached record highs in summer 2023.
The service used data from satellites, weather stations, ships and aircraft around the world, amounting to billions of measurements to determine the temperatures. The findings revealed that June through August 2023 hit an average global temperature of 16.77 degrees Celsius, or 0.66 degrees Celsius above the average global temperature recorded for these three months.
Further, August 2023 hit record high temperatures for that month and came just behind July 2023 as the hottest month ever recorded.
“Global temperature records continue to tumble in 2023, with the warmest August following on from the warmest July and June leading to the warmest boreal summer in our data record going back to 1940,” Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement.
While the summer temperatures have reached record highs, the year as a whole is currently ranked as the second warmest on record, behind 2016. But 2023 is just 0.01 degrees Celsius behind the record-high temperatures of 2016, with another four months left in the year, Burgess explained.
Earlier this year, the World Meteorological Organization reported that there is a 98% chance that the Earth will have its hottest year on record within the next five years.
“Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record. Climate breakdown has begun,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, as reported by ABC News. “Scientists have long warned what our fossil fuel addiction will unleash. Surging temperatures demand a surge in action. Leaders must turn up the heat now for climate solutions. We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos — and we don’t have a moment to lose.”
In addition to the high global temperatures around the world, Copernicus Climate Change Service also found that the average sea surface temperatures globally have been higher than usual since April, and in August, sea surface temperatures hit the highest daily and highest monthly global average on record.
According to the service, global average sea surface temperatures broke the record of 20.95 degrees Celsius (March 2016), reaching 21.02 degrees Celsius on August 23 and 24. The global average sea surface temperatures of each day from July 31 to August 31 of 2023 were warmer than the previous record high from March 2016.
“The scientific evidence is overwhelming — we will continue to see more climate records and more intense and frequent extreme weather events impacting society and ecosystems, until we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” Burgess said.