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United Nations: July is ‘extremely likely’ to be the hottest month ever recorded in history

The United Nations (UN) has issued a statement declaring that July is highly likely to become the hottest month ever recorded in history, as scorching heatwaves sweep across various regions of the world. Data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reveal that the first three weeks of July have experienced the highest temperatures on record, indicating a strong possibility of July becoming both the hottest July and the hottest month overall.

This occurrence comes as heatwaves have been increasing in frequency and intensity in recent years, and scientific evidence points to human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases, as a significant contributing factor to global warming and the more frequent heatwaves.

The extreme heat is mainly attributed to a series of heatwaves affecting large parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. On July 6th, this year, the hottest single day ever recorded was registered, surpassing previous records set in August 2016.

During the first and third weeks of July, global mean temperatures have exceeded preindustrial levels by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a threshold considered a point of no return for warming by the United Nations.

Copernicus also reports that global average sea surface temperatures have been higher than typical levels since May 2023. Notably, July has witnessed the highest ocean temperatures ever recorded for this time of year, further highlighting the severity of the ongoing climate crisis.

These record-breaking temperatures follow the hottest June on record.

While the current records for the hottest July and hottest month were set in 2019, July 2023 is expected to surpass those records. The World Meteorological Organization will confirm the extent of the temperature anomalies when it releases the full July data on August 8th.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, emphasizes that the significant increase in global temperatures is primarily driven by human emissions. He adds, “July’s record is unlikely to remain isolated this year, [Copernicus’s] seasonal forecasts indicate that over land areas temperatures are likely to be well above average, exceeding the 80th percentile of climatology for the time of year.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed deep concern over the situation. He points out that July 2023 is poised to break records across multiple regions of North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, leading to severe consequences. He firmly states that humans are unequivocally responsible for these developments, and the speed of change is the only surprising aspect.


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