The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Dear Diary. Our broken climate is finally making headline news as just about all of the outlets I know of latch into the fact that global average temperatures have exceeded records during this first week of July 2023. AL Gore’s frogs (the general public) are jumping because of this statistical heat.
This has happened because new El Niño ocean warmth is getting averaged in with overall global warmth created by our burning of fossil fuels from the past 150 years. Since there is much more land across the Northern Hemisphere than across the Southern Hemisphere, which gets heated from the direct rays of the sun, July is typically the warmest month on Earth. So, average global temperatures should fall after July, but that is not to write that we will not see our hottest August, September, etc. on record when you combine the effects of El Niño with that of carbon pollution.
Here is another perspective on this record hot week from Common Dreams:
A woman shelters under a bag during a heatwave in Beijing on July 7, 2023. (Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)
Climate Crisis ‘Out of Control’ as Global Temperature Breaks Record for 3rd Time in 4 Days
Thursday’s record came after the revelation that the seven-day stretch ending Wednesday was also the hottest week in at least 44 years.
Jul 07, 2023
For the third time in just four days, the Earth sweated through its unofficial hottest day on record Thursday.
The average global temperature reached 17.23°C, or 63°F, on July 6, up from the record set Monday, surpassed Tuesday, and matched Wednesday, according to data from the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer. Thursday’s record came after the revelation that the seven-day stretch ending Wednesday was also the hottest week in at least 44 years. “Climate change is out of control,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in response to Monday’s and Tuesday’s records, as The Associated Press reported. “If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation.”
Scientists attribute the high temperatures to a combination of global heating caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels and an El Niño event officially declared by the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization Tuesday.
“Such records are the predictable consequence of a short-term El Niño temperature boost coming on top of the long-term global warming trend due to mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
Earth’s temperature reached 17.01°C, or 62.62°F, Monday and then 17.18°C, or 62.9°F, Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). While these temperatures are the hottest since record-keeping began in 1979, The Washington Post explained, data from ice cores and tree rings indicate that they haven’t been experienced on Earth since the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago, when sea levels were around 18 feet higher. The week ending Wednesday was also 0.08°F, or 0.04°C, warmer than any in the record books, according to AP.
“Such records are the predictable consequence of a short-term El Niño temperature boost coming on top of the long-term global warming trend due to mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions,” lead Berkeley Earth scientist Robert Rohde tweeted in response to Thursday’s new record.
The University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer uses both temperature readings from the surface, air balloons, and satellites, along with NCEP forecast data, to provide daily average two-meter air temperatures, according to The Guardian.
The records it reports are considered “unofficial” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) because they rely partly on computer models, AP explained, but the agency did not deny the impact of the climate emergency and El Niño on recent extremes.
“Although NOAA cannot validate the methodology or conclusion of the University of Maine analysis, we recognize that we are in a warm period due to climate change,” NOAA said in a statement reported by AP.
There are also other indicators speaking to spiking temperatures: The European Union’s Copernicus ECMWF ERA5 dataset put Monday’s mean temperature at a record 16.88°C and Tuesday’s at a new record temperature of 17.03°C.
June was also the warmest June on record, according to a report from the E.U.’s Copernicus Climate Change Service released Thursday, with temperatures more than 0.5°C above the 1991-2020 average. Sea surface temperatures also broke monthly records for both May and June, and Antarctic sea ice dwindled to 17% below average for a record low for June.
“We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024,” Chris Hewitt, WMO Director of Climate Services, said in a statement responding to the report. “This is worrying news for the planet.”
Scientists predict that the record breaking will continue into July, which is usually the warmest month of the year.
“Chances are that the month of July will be the warmest ever, and with it the hottest month ever,” Karsten Haustein, a research fellow in atmospheric radiation at Leipzig University, told The Guardian, clarifying that “ever” meant in the last 120,000 years.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve been having heart palpitations because of the heat. I’m starting to think seriously that I’m going to leave Timbuktu.”
The records aren’t just numbers. They have been felt in extreme heatwaves around the globe from Texas to China. Cities in China are opening air raid shelters to help people hide from heat that has already turned deadly, APreported Friday, and temperatures in Beijing surpassed 35°C for more than nine days in a row for the first time since 1961.
Temperatures were also high in Timbuktu, Mali.
“Usually, at night it’s a bit cool even during the hot season. But this year, even at night, it’s been hot—I’ve never seen anything like it,” 50-year-old Fatoumata Arby told AP. “I’ve been having heart palpitations because of the heat. I’m starting to think seriously that I’m going to leave Timbuktu.”
Beyond high temperatures, the impacts of the climate emergency continue to be felt in other ways. In an update Thursday, Canadian officials said the country’s record-breaking wildfire season—which has sent toxic smoke pouring across the border in recent weeks—continues, with nearly 5,000 people forced from their homes and more than 8.8 million hectares of forest burned, CBC News reported. That’s nearly 11 times the average hectares burned in the last decade.
“This number is literally off the charts,” Michael Norton, director of the Northern Forestry Centre with the Canadian Forest Service at NRCan, said during a press conference reported by Politico, “with at least three more months left in the active wildfire season.”
Officials say the climate emergency is playing a major role in the unprecedented season.
“This summer, we are witnessing the effects of climate change first-hand as Canada continues to experience more intense and frequent severe weather events,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said in a briefing reported by CBC News.
In Pakistan, meanwhile, heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 50 people in two weeks, Al Jazeera reported Friday. The deluge comes a year after devastating flooding in Pakistan swallowed a third of the country and claimed more than 1,700 lives. Pakistan contributes less than 1% to global greenhouse gas emissions, but it is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and scientists said that rising temperatures made last year’s disaster more likely.
“Only when we bring carbon emissions to zero does the warming stop.”
In response to news of broken records and weather extremes, University of Pennsylvania climate scientist Michael Mann said people should not be paralyzed with fear.
“Rather than being ‘terrified’ by this expected consequence of human-caused warming, we should be motivated to act—in particular, holding politicians accountable at the ballot box,” he tweeted. “Only when we bring carbon emissions to zero does the warming stop.”
There’s a chance that living through this summer of extremes could help with that motivation.
“The issue of climate change doesn’t often get its 15 minutes of fame. When it does, it’s usually tied to something abstract like a scientific report or a meeting of politicians that most people can’t relate to,” George Mason University climate communications professor Ed Maibach told AP.
“Feeling the heat—and breathing the wildfire smoke, as so many of us in the Eastern U.S. and Canada have been doing for the past month—is a tangible shared public experience that can be used to focus the public conversation,” he said.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Olivia Rosane is a staff writer for Common Dreams.
“Climate change is out of control,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in response to Monday’s and Tuesday’s records, as . “If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation.”
More From Common Dreams:
- UK Saw Hottest Year On Record In 2022 As Climate Chaos Grows In Europe ›
- ‘Red Lights Flashing’: Australia Smashes Heat Record Just A Day After Previous Record Hit ›
- ‘We Are Sleepwalking Towards The Edge,’ Says Greta As UK Sees Hottest Day On Record ›
- ‘Terrifying’: Tuesday Was Hottest Day Ever, Breaking Record Set Just 24 Hours Earlier ›
- Earth Sees Third Straight Hottest Day On Record, Though It’s Unofficial … ›
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports: temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:
Here is some new June 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)