2023 likely to be hottest year on record: EU monitor

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PARIS: 2023 is likely to be the hottest year in human history, and global temperatures during the Northern Hemisphere summer were the warmest on record, the EU climate monitor said on Wednesday (Sep 6).

Heatwaves, droughts and wildfires struck Asia, Africa, Europe and North America over the last three months, with dramatic impact on economies, ecosystems and human health.

The average global temperature in June, July and August was 16.77 degrees Celsius, smashing the previous 2019 record of 16.48 degrees Celsius, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said in a report.

“The three months that we’ve just had are the warmest in approximately 120,000 years, so effectively human history,” C3S deputy director Samantha Burgess told AFP.

Last month was the hottest August on record and warmer than all other months except July 2023.

Climate breakdown has begun,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“Scientists have long warned what our fossil fuel addiction will unleash,” he added. “Our climate is imploding faster than we can cope, with extreme weather events hitting every corner of the planet.”

Record-high global sea surface temperatures played a major role in stoking heat throughout the summer, with marine heatwaves hitting the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.

“Looking at the additional heat we have in the surface ocean, the probability is that 2023 will end up being the warmest year on record,” Burgess said.

The average global temperature through the first eight months of 2023 is the second-warmest on record, only 0.01C below the benchmark 2016 level, the report added.

If the Northern Hemisphere has a “normal” winter, “we can almost virtually say that 2023 will be the warmest year that humanity has experienced,” Burgess said.

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