This Monday, 3 July 2023, was the hottest day ever recorded globally, according to data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
The average global temperature reached 17.01C (62.62F), surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92C (62.46F), as heatwaves sizzled around the world.
The southern US has been suffering under an intense heat dome in recent weeks amid extreme weather, probably driven by the human-caused climate crisis, experts said. In parts of China, an enduring heatwave continued, with temperatures above 35C (95F). North Africa has seen temperatures near 50C (122F), with, in the Middle East, thousands suffering from the unusually scorching heat during the Hajj religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
And even Antarctica, currently in its winter, registered anomalously high temperatures, as glacier melt accelerates and the sun intensifies. Ukraine’s Vernadsky research base, in the vast frozen continent’s Argentine Islands, recently broke its July temperature record with a reading of 8.7C (47.6F).
Jeni Miller, executive director of the California-based Global Climate and Health Alliance, an international consortium of health organizations, said: “People around the world are already enduring climate impacts, from heatwaves, wildfires, and air pollution to floods and extreme storms. Global warming is also exacerbating crop losses and the spread of infectious diseases, as well as migration.”
She added: “The extraction and use of coal, oil, and gas harm people’s health, are the primary driver of warming, and are incompatible with a healthy climate future. That’s all the more reason that governments must prepare to deliver a commitment at Cop28 to phase out all fossil fuels, and a just transition to renewable energy for all.”
Climate scientist Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain’s Imperial College London, said: “It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems.”
Scientists lamented the climate crisis, accelerated by the El Niño weather pattern, the latest of which the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned this week had begun. The last major El Niño was in 2016, which was the hottest year on record – until now.
Of the new temperature record announced on Tuesday, Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at Berkeley Earth, said: “Unfortunately, it promises to only be the first in a series of new records set this year as increasing emissions of [carbon dioxide] and greenhouse gases, coupled with a growing El Niño event, push temperatures to new highs.”