A European Union climate monitoring agency has found that last month was the hottest September on record, at 1.75C above the pre-industrial average.
But the most worrying thing is that 2023 is on track to become the hottest year ever recorded on the planet.
“2023 has proven to be a very anomalous year,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the EU. Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S). “We’ve had the warmest June, the warmest July and the warmest August on record. But September has really broken all the previous records we’ve seen in recent months.
“When I talk to my colleagues around the world, no one has ever seen climate monitoring data like this.”
According to numerous data collected from satellites, weather stations and ships and planes around the world, the average air temperature in September was 0.93 C higher than the average for the month from 1991-2020, surpassing the previous record set in 2020 at 0. .5 C.
This comes just a week after the US National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that this year Minimum sea ice extent in the Arctic. was the fifth lowest on record, and the Maximum extent of Antarctic sea ice was the lowest.
With so many record months, the global average temperature so far this year is 1.4 C higher than the pre-industrial average.
The heat was felt around the world this summer. Phoenix, Arizona, experienced a Record 31 consecutive days in which temperatures were 43.3 C or higherbreaking the previous record of 18 days set in 1974. Night temperatures brought no relief, often staying above 32C.
In July, a municipality in China reached a record temperature of 52.2 C.
Canada was not spared from the hot weather either.
“We had the warmest summer [in Canada]. “It wasn’t even close to the previous warmer temperatures even though we had colder temperatures in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto,” said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
While those cities experienced near-average temperatures for much of the year, that hasn’t been the case this week, as temperatures in those same cities approached 30 C, nearly double the average for this time of year.
Looking ahead to 2024
The last nine years have been nine warmest on record, with 2016 being the warmest of all time. This despite the fact that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern, a recurring natural phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, had been in a cooling phase, known as La Niña, for three years.
Currently, we are experiencing El Niño conditions: a cyclical warming of ocean surface temperatures in the same area of the Pacific. This phase can cause an increase in global temperatures.
Although El Niño only began in July, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts it will last through the winter and spring.
Because of that, 2024 is expected to be even warmer than 2023, Burgess said. But it’s not clear how warm it is.
“We also know that El Niño is starting in a warmer ocean with a warmer atmosphere than we’ve had in the past,” Burgess said. “So we’re a little bit blind in terms of… how strong this particular event will be.”
Michael E. Mann, a climatologist who popularized the “hockey stick graphic which illustrates rapid global warming, said he is not surprised by the trend.
“Several years ago we published a study that showed that we should expect this streak of record years to continue as long as we continue to generate carbon pollution,” he said in an email.
But Mann (whose recent book, Our fragile moment, addresses how climate has shaped humanity and how we can move forward; He stressed that all is not lost.
“There is no evidence that we are going to suffer rampant warming,” he said. “Warming is constant and will continue as long as carbon emissions continue.
“The good news is that when carbon emissions go to zero, the warming of the planet’s surface ends almost immediately, so there is a direct and immediate impact of our efforts to decarbonize our economy.”
Burgess said these recent findings should be the impetus for change ahead of this year’s meeting. COP 28 climate conference.
“The climate crisis is here, it is affecting us all and we really need ambitious measures,” he said.