A man pours cold water onto his head to cool off on a sweltering hot day in the Mediterranean Sea in Beirut, Lebanon, July 16, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
BRUSSELS – Global temperatures broke multiple records in July, making it the hottest month since records began in 1940, the European Union's (EU) Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said on Tuesday.
The daily global mean surface air temperature record was broken on four days in a row, between July 3 and July 6, it said. All days throughout the rest of the month were hotter than the previous record of 16.80 degrees Celsius, set on Aug 13, 2016.
The hottest day of the month was July 6, when the global average temperature reached 17.08 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures also temporarily exceeded the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold above pre-industrial level during the first and third weeks of the month.
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The monthly average temperature in July was 16.95 degrees Celsius. The previous record was 16.63 degrees Celsius, set in July 2019.
Sea surface temperatures (SST) have also been unusually high since April.
Record-breaking temperatures are part of the trend of drastic increases in global temperatures. Anthropogenic emissions are ultimately the main driver of these rising temperatures.
Carlo Buontempo, C3S Director
El Nino conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific for the first time in seven years, which make temperatures go up and trigger disruptive weather and climate patterns, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
"There is a 98 percent likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record, beating the record set in 2016, when there was an exceptionally strong El Nino," the WMO said.
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France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia have all reported new daytime and overnight station temperature records, the C3S said. The city of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain, reported a new temperature record of 45.4 degrees Celsius on July 18, and Sardinia recorded 48.2 degrees Celsius on July 24.
The highest recorded temperature on July 23 was 48.7 degrees Celsius in Algeria and 49 degrees Celsius in Tunis and Kairouan in Tunisia. In Iran, temperatures exceeded 50 degrees Celsius in early August.
Tourists cool off near a fan as they queue to enter Rome's Colosseum, in Italy, July 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
In Phoenix, Arizona in the United States, the average temperature was 39.3 degrees Celsius, according to the US National Weather Service. In the Death Valley National Park in California, the temperature climbed to 53.3 degrees Celsius on July 16.
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In early July, China was also on high alert for heatwaves.
In the middle of July, wildfires broke out in multiple locations in Türkiye as temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius, forcing villages to be evacuated. In Greece, 667 wildfires erupted between July 18 and July 28, killing at least five people, and on the islands of Corfu and Rhodes, 20,000 people had to be evacuated from wildfires.
"Record-breaking temperatures are part of the trend of drastic increases in global temperatures. Anthropogenic emissions are ultimately the main driver of these rising temperatures," C3S Director Carlo Buontempo said.
"The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said.