AFPHigh temperatures in Rome (photo from July 2023)
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 09:41
July was by far the hottest month ever recorded. Copernicus, the climate agency of the European Commission, reports that the average temperature reached 16.96 degrees, which is 0.33 degrees higher than in the previous record month, July 2019.
It was already expected that July would be the hottest month on record. Large parts of the world suffered from extreme heat waves last month. The Mediterranean region, the south and west of the United States and parts of Asia, among others, experienced temperatures well above 40 degrees, with peaks of over 50 degrees.
According to Copernicus, this July was 0.72 degrees warmer than the average in the period 1991-2020. The heat led to forest fires in many places.
AFPForest fires in Rhodes in Greece last month
The ocean water is also warmer than ever. Copernicus says the surface water temperature has risen to 20.96 degrees. This breaks the record of 20.95 degrees from March 2016.
Copernicus is concerned about the temperature records. “They have serious consequences for people and the planet, which are exposed to increasingly frequent and intense weather events,” says deputy director Samantha Burgess. She sees the figures as confirmation that greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming, must be reduced quickly.
More records expected
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week that there is a 98 percent chance that at least one of the next five years will be the warmest on record.
There is also a 66 percent chance that the limit of 1.5 degrees of warming will be exceeded in all twelve months in one of those years. It has been agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement that warming can best be limited to 1.5 degrees, because the consequences will be very far-reaching beyond that.