The world has just experienced the hottest June on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice extent, the UN press service said.
The report by the European Union’s Copernicus service on climate change, which works closely with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), shows the profound changes taking place in the Earth system as a result of human-induced climate change , observed the WMO in a statement released on Friday. June 2023 was just 0.5°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average, beating the previous record set in June 2019. North Atlantic sea surface temperatures were “out of the ordinary”, adds the same source.
The heat continued into early July, traditionally the hottest month of the year. According to preliminary data, the global average temperature at 2 meters reached a record high of 16.88°C on July 3, breaking the previous daily record of 16.80°C from August 2016. It then broke again this record on July 4, with a temperature of 17.03°C. “The exceptional heat of June and early July occurred at the start of the development of El Niño, which is expected to further fuel heat both on land and in the oceans and lead to more extreme temperatures and waves of marine heat,” said Chris Hewitt, WMO Director of Climate Services.
“We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more record breaking as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024,” he added, noting that “c This is disturbing news for the planet”. Global sea surface temperatures reached a record high for the time of year in May and June, which will impact fisheries distribution and general ocean circulation, with implications for climate .
“It’s not just the surface temperature, but the whole ocean is heating up and absorbing energy that will stay there for hundreds of years. The alarm bells are ringing particularly loudly due to the unprecedented sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic,” Prof Hewitt said. Extreme marine heat waves were observed around Ireland, the UK and in the Baltic Sea.