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    July 2023: The Hottest Month in Recorded History

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    July 2023 is making history as the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, and possibly the warmest month in the past 120,000 years. The global average temperature has surpassed the pre-industrial era by approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a recent analysis published on Thursday.

    Record-breaking Heat

    Although July is not yet over, available data already suggests that it will be an exceptionally hot month worldwide. The temperatures have consistently exceeded the monthly average to the extent that a new record is inevitable. Dr. Karsten Haustein, a climatologist from the University of Leipzig, forecasts that this month’s global average temperature will surpass the July average from 1850-1900 by 1.3-1.7 degrees Celsius. This would be 0.2 degrees Celsius higher than the previous record set in July 2019.

    Dr. Karsten Haustein points out that the current record is occurring during an El Niño event, which is linked to above-average surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. He speculates that for a similarly warm month, one might need to go back as far as the Eemian interglacial period around 120,000 years ago. However, the paleoclimate temperature records do not provide sufficient temporal resolution to conclusively confirm a warmer July back then.

    Ongoing Impact and Future Projections

    The effects of El Niño are likely to fully manifest in the second half of the year, suggesting that the trend of record-breaking hot months may continue until at least early 2024. But the underlying reason for these records remains the continuous release of massive amounts of greenhouse gases by human activities.

    Experts emphasize that the rising global temperatures present increasing challenges for people and the environment worldwide. Without curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the heatwaves will become more severe and dangerous. The urgency to address climate change is evident, as record temperatures have been observed in various parts of the world, from the United States to Africa, China, and Antarctica.

    Call for Action

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stresses that limiting global warming requires peaking greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and reducing them by 43% by 2030. The United Nations emphasizes the need for more stringent targets and plans from major emitters at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, scheduled for this year.

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