The climate crisis continues to show alarming figures. Our planet has just recorded the three hottest months on record, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Last August was the month with a record that has everyone worried—the hottest month ever recorded. 2016 was the warmest year on record, but it is followed by this year, 2023, in which we are experiencing very warm temperatures.
What about sea surface temperatures?
“August as a whole saw the highest global monthly average sea surface temperatures on record across all months, at 20.98°C. Temperatures exceeded the previous record (March 2016) every single day in August” (OMM, 2023).
The WMO has been working and researching for years to provide information that helps us to foresee and act to take care of our common home. In a May 2023 report, they shared that there was a 98% chance that the next five years would see the highest temperatures in history.
Leaders are concerned about the alarming situation
“Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record. Climate breakdown has begun. 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,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres (OMM, 2023).
“The northern hemisphere just had a summer of extremes – with repeated heatwaves fuelling devastating wildfires, harming health, disrupting daily lives and wreaking a lasting toll on the environment. In the southern hemisphere Antarctic sea ice extent was literally off the charts, and the global sea surface temperature was once again at a new record. It is worth noting that this is happening BEFORE we see the full warming impact of the El Niño event, which typically plays out in the second year after it develops,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas (OMM, 2023).
“Eight months into 2023, so far we are experiencing the second warmest year to date, only fractionally cooler than 2016, and August was estimated to be around 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. What we are observing, not only new extremes but the persistence of these record-breaking conditions, and the impacts these have on both people and planet, are a clear consequence of the warming of the climate system,” commented Carlo Buontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF (OMM, 2023).
Read the full WMO report here.