Working at Leipzig University, Haustein’s analysis corroborates the death knell sounded by other scientists who had warned that July was likely to be the hottest month on record.
According to the analysis, the global average of near-surface temperature in July, which still has another four days to complete the month, will exceed the previous warmest record for the month by a considerable margin. Using data from the Global Forecast System (GFS), which is a weather forecast model of National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the research found that this July will be warmer than July 2019, which is at present the hottest.
“It is therefore virtually certain that July 2023 will set a new global temperature record. We just lived through the warmest of any months over thousands of years,” Haustein stated.
The analysis added that not only will it be the warmest July, but the warmest month ever in terms of absolute global mean temperature. It attributed the rise in mercury levels to continued release of vast amounts of greenhouse gases by humans.
“Since the effects of El Niño only fully emerge in the second-half of the year, June, and now July, are likely to be followed by more record warm months up until at least early 2024. Such dramatic climatic changes also trigger unprecedented marine and continental heat waves, increasing the risk for record shattering temperature extremes across the globe,” the research stated.
In the past weeks, China, Southern Europe and North America witnessed record or near-record temperatures. Stating that El Niño cannot be blamed for the current global temperatures, George Adamson, Reader in Climate and Society, King’s College London and author of ‘El Niño in World History’ said, “El Niño can cause major changes to weather patterns around the world although this can be highly disruptive. During El Niño events, more energy is released from the oceans to the atmosphere, which means that overall global surface temperatures will increase. During non-El Niño years the energy is still there, but more of it is transferred to the tropical oceans. So, while you will see fluctuations in surface temperature that are related to El Niño, the underlying cause of observed global temperatures over decadal timescales is carbon dioxide released by anthropogenic activities.”
Skymet Weather’s vice president (meteorology and climate change) Mahesh Palawat sees a link between rising global temperatures and heavy monsoon in India. “The connection between climate change and extreme weather events has become stronger. Warming of oceans, especially the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal has led to increased incursion of moisture in the atmosphere over India, especially over Indo-Gangetic Plains. This has increased the capacity of air to hold more moisture, leading to extremely heavy rainfall. In the warming world, these extreme rain events will become more often, especially during the monsoon.”
Highlighting the failure of world leaders towards limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, executive director of Lancet Countdown on Climate Change Marina Romanello said, “Despite the wealth of research and data showing the number of lives that could be saved through climate action, our leaders continue to prioritize investments in fossil fuels above clean energy sources. Oil and gas companies continue to churn out plans that are incompatible with the Paris Agreement scenario, and driven by windfall profits last year, we are seeing many backtrack further on their commitments.”