July 2023 to be the Hottest Month on Record: WMO
Students shield themselves from the heat with a scarf on a hot summer afternoon in Meerut, UP. Image Courtesy: PTI
The first week of July was the hottest week on record, as per the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It comes after the world witnessed the hottest June on record.
In the Indian context, multiple northern states, such as Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, have seen unprecedented rainfall, leading to landslides and floods.
“The exceptional warmth in June and at the start of July occurred at the onset of the development of El Nino, which is expected to further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans and lead to more extreme temperatures and marine heatwaves. We are in uncharted territory, and we can expect more records to fall as El Nino develops further, and these impacts will extend into 2024. This is worrying news for the planet,” said Prof. Christopher Hewitt, WMO Director of Climate Services, in a statement.
As per JRA-3Q, a provisional analysis "based on reanalysis data from Japan", the average global temperature on July 7 was 0.3 degrees Celsius above (at 17.24 degrees Celsius) than the previous record (16.94 degrees Celsius on August 16, 2016). Both these events occurred in strong El Nino years.
The strange and unprecedented nature of the event can be seen in how in the first week of July, the record for the hottest day on the planet was broken four times- on July 3, followed by July 4, July 5 and July 6.
“According to various datasets from our partners in different parts of the world, the first week of July set a new record in terms of daily temperatures,” said Omar Baddour, chief of climate monitoring at WMO
“The WMO and wider scientific community are closely watching these dramatic changes in different components of the climate system and sea surface temperatures,” Baddour said.
Earlier, record June temperatures led to heatwave-like conditions in many regions across northwest Europe. The effects of July heat were also seen across Europe. Earlier this week, thousands of tourists had to be rescued after wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Other regions across the world, such as Spain, Germany, Poland and Australia, witnessed major heatwaves, with the temperature climbing to the mid-40s.
“Global sea surface temperatures were at record high for the time of the year both in May and June. This comes with a cost. It will impact fisheries distribution and the ocean circulation in general, with knock-on effects on the climate. It is not only the surface temperature, but the whole ocean is becoming warmer and absorbing energy that will remain there for hundreds of years. Alarm bells are ringing especially loudly because of the unprecedented sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic,” WMO said.
The alarming situation is unlikely to improve any time sooner as El Nino conditions and global warming interact, leading to never-seen-before events.
The last El Nino occurred in 2016, which became the hottest year on record. This year’s El Nino, which is a hot spell, coupled with warming due to climate change, is leading temperatures to new highs. The cooler counterpart of El Nino is called La Nina, which ended in March this year after being in place for three consecutive years.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.