July is set to be the hottest month ever surpassing the record set just last month, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization and European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said in a joint statement said on Thursday.
The first three weeks of July have been the warmest three-week period on record. On July 6, the daily average global mean surface air temperature surpassed the record set in August 2016, making it the hottest day on record. The global mean temperatures recorded on July 5 and July 7 were also among the hottest days ever, the press release said.
During the first and third week of the month global, mean temperature had temporarily exceeded the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold above pre-industrial level. This means that the temperature was hotter than the planet was before it was warmed by burning coal, oil and gas, and other human activities.
According to UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change crossing the global average temperature beyond 1.5 degree Celsius could unleash severe climate change impacts, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.
On Thursday, scientists said that heatwaves in large parts of North America, Asia and Europe, along with wildfires in countries including Canada and Greece, have had major adverse effects on public health, the environment and economies.
“The extreme weather which has affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a foretaste of the future,” said World Meteorological Organization’s Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas. “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must.”
United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres said on Thursday the reports showed that the “era of global boiling has arrived”.
Guterres urged global leaders to take swift action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption that drive the global warming.
“The air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable, and the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable,” he said. “Leaders must lead. No more hesitancy, no more excuses, no more waiting for others to move first. There is simply no more time for that.”
An analysis published by Dr Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at Leipzig University showed that July may have been the hottest month in 1,20,000 years. July’s average global temperature is projected to be 1.3-1.7 degree Celsius above the average July temperature before pre-industrial level.
Increased temperatures have also added more moisture into the atmosphere, leading to unprecedented weather events, such as the floods in northwest India seen earlier this month.
“Not only has monsoon variability increased due to rising heat, but these events have become less predictable, posing another set of challenges,” Haustein said.