The United Nations Chief, Antonio Guterres, has issued a stark warning of a “climate breakdown” following a report from the Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealing the world’s hottest Northern Hemisphere summer on record.
Scientists have attributed this warming, human-caused climate change to the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon. El Niño is typically associated with warmer-than-average winter temperatures across the United States, primarily affecting northern states from Washington to Maine, as reported by Reuters.
This year Aljazeera reported that, El Niño started early and has had a significant impact on weather patterns, intensifying global temperatures and contributing to lower gas consumption and prices. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) confirmed that August marked the hottest month on record and the second hottest, following July 2023.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commented on the situation, stating, “The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting.” The C3S report estimated that August temperatures were approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial average. Moreover, it observed the highest-ever global monthly average sea surface temperature, nearly reaching 21 degrees Celsius (69.8 degrees Fahrenheit), as reported by Aljazeera.
In another report, the C3S confirmed that 2023 is now the second hottest year on record, following closely behind 2016. Carlo Buontempo, Director of C3S’s Climate Change Service, emphasized that these record-breaking conditions and their enduring impacts on people and the planet are direct consequences of the warming climate system.