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Home Environment UN warns of ‘climate breakdown’ after record heat

UN warns of ‘climate breakdown’ after record heat

This year has seen the hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever measured: WMO.

by NWMNewsDesk
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UN chief Antonio Guterres says “climate breakdown has begun” after the Northern Hemisphere saw its hottest summer on record. August was the third month in a row to set a global monthly heat record.

This year has seen the hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever measured, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record. Climate breakdown has begun,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.

Scientists have said the burning of coal, oil and natural gas for human activity is driving ever-higher temperatures around the globe as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere and hold in heat. This year, El Nino, a temporary warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that occurs naturally, has also played a role in raising the global temperature.

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Last month was the hottest August by far ever recorded with modern equipment, according to WMO and the European climate service Copernicus.

It was also the second-hottest month measured, exceeded only by July 2023, they announced.

And it is the third month in a row to set a monthly heat record, Copernicus said.

August was about 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrial averages, scientists said.

That temperature rise is the threshold that the 2015 Paris Climate Accord agreed to target as a maximum aspirational average for the world. However, reaching 1.5 C for a brief period does not yet mean a failure to stick to that target.

The average sea surface temperatures also hit a record level in August, at 20.9 C.

So far, 2023 is the second-hottest year on record, behind 2016, according to Copernicus, but could well end up being the hottest, with September so far seeing above-average temperatures in many regions.

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