If you feel like you’re living on the surface of the sun some days, it’s not just your imagination. According to the United Nations, the Earth is hotter than ever right now. Here is the full story.
Dog Days Bite
“The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres after getting a glimpse at the latest climate data.
Hottest Summer Ever
According to the numbers released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) in early September, the summer of 2023 has been the hottest ever.
Northerners Are Melting
Run by the World Meteorological Organization, or the WMO, CS3 reports that the northern hemisphere in particular took it on the chin the last few months.
Toxic Climate Cocktail
According to WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas, outrageous temperatures fueled runaway wildfires all summer long.
It’s a toxic cocktail that Taalas says will cause lasting environmental damage.
Not Much of a Winter
Meanwhile, while the southern hemisphere is just now starting to come out of their winter season, that doesn’t mean they have been immune from the weather extremes that plagued the north.
Antarctic Ice Disappearing
In fact, says Taalas, the seasonal shrinkage of the Antarctic ice has accelerated to rates never before witnessed.
The Oceans Are Boiling
And, even in the southern hemisphere, ocean temperatures have risen dramatically over the last several months.
Nowhere to Run
August was the worst of all, with WMO reporting that it was the hottest one on record by a long shot.
It was scorching across the board, with both land and sea surfaces reaching new temperature levels, including 100°F (38°C) ocean water temperatures off the coast of Florida.
No Good News
The WMO compiles data from six environmental monitoring organizations around the world, and the outlook is pretty dire all around.
Hottest Year Coming Up
According to the Met Office in the U.K., for example, there is a 98% chance that one of the next 5 years will become the hottest ever recorded.
It Could Be This Year
If this year continues on its course, 2023 will make that prediction come true on its own.
There Is Still Time
As of early September, the only year that was warmer than 2023 was 2016, but there is still plenty of time for this year to make up that ground.
More Sweltering to Come
Laura Patterson, who is the WMO representative to the U.N. thinks we’re just getting warmed up.
For starters, she thinks the rest of this year and especially next summer will pretty much keep pace with these last few months.
We Can Turn It Around
But Patterson also sees some hope for the future if we treat this planet-sized barbecue as a wakeup call.
Fossil Fuels Need to Go
She lays the blame for the elevated temperatures on humanity’s continued reliance on fossil fuels and the carbon emissions that come from burning them.
Save the Planet
Replace those fuels with more sustainable alternatives, she says, and we can start to reverse course.
No Time to Waste
Guterres holds a similar view but says humans need to act right now.
The Worst Is Not Inevitable
“We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos,” he says. “We don’t have a moment to lose.”
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The post Hottest Summer on Record: Alarming Heatwave Sets Unprecedented Climate Trends first appeared on Mama Say What?!
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