July 3 hottest day globally ever recorded: Climate scientists

New Delhi, July 5 : July 3 was the hottest day globally ever recorded, according to climate scientists, based on data from the US government’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Average worldwide temperature on July 3 reached 17.01 degrees Celsius, breaking the previous record of 16.92 degrees, which was set in August 2016.

Monday’s temperature was about 0.8 degrees hotter than the average for the time of year during the late 20th century — a time when global temperatures had already been warmed by human activities.

The record global temperature was the result of climate change, caused by burning fossil fuels and other human activities, combined with the emerging El Nino weather pattern, according to Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, a US non-profit climate research organisation. Other scientists have confirmed this observation.

Rohde predicts that the record may be broken again over the coming weeks.

According to the recent IPCC reports (A.2.2), global temperatures have not been as high as they are now for 1,25,000 years.

On July 3, Texas and large parts of the southern US were being hit by very high temperatures linked with a heat dome.

Analysis by Climate Central found that such temperatures were made at least five times more likely due to human-induced climate change.

Wildfires in Canada continued to burn, having already become the worst in Canadian history, with more than 8.4 million hectares burned — an area larger than the UAE, the host of this year’s climate conference. The smoke of the fires affected the air quality of large parts of the country and the US.

In China, a long-lasting heatwave continued, with temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius, and major flooding hitting parts of the country.

Climate change made the heatwave at least five times more likely, according to a rapid assessment by Climate Central.

On Sunday, the country announced that the first half of 2023 had seen a new record of days with temperatures over 35 degrees, the highest since 1961, when records began.

Temperatures in North Africa approached 50 degrees, as a heatwave continued — with climate change again having been a major factor.

Ocean temperatures around the British Isles and the Nordic countries continued to be high, although slightly cooler than in previous weeks, when an extreme marine heatwave had threatened marine life.

The Antarctic region also experienced very high temperatures, with many stations registering positive temperatures despite the winter season. The Vernadsky station broke its July temperature record, with 8.7 degrees.

Friederike Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, said: “This is not a milestone we should be celebrating, it’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems. And worryingly, it won’t be the hottest day for a long time. With El Niño developing, the world will likely break this record again in the coming months. We absolutely need to stop burning fossil fuels.”

Karsten Haustein, University of Leipzig, said: “Chances are that July will be the warmest ever, and with it the hottest month ever: ‘ever’ meaning since the Eemian which is some 1,20,000 years ago.

“While Southern Hemisphere temperatures will drop a bit in the next few days, chances are that July and August will see even warmer days yet given that El Niño is now pretty much in full swing.

“In terms of absolute positive anomaly, it’s not the warmest deviation ever — that usually comes in the Northern Hemisphere winter, during which earth is four degree colder.” Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Independent University, Bangladesh, said: “Loss and damage from human induced climate change has arrived throughout the world with the hottest day ever. Expect many more hottest days in future.”