NASA confirms that summer 2023 was the hottest on record on Earth

By | September 17, 2023

Scorching heat waves in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere have marked this year’s summer as Earth’s hottest since at least 1880, NASA confirmed yesterday (September 14), referring to when recording began global temperatures.

The record heat of 2023 is the result of human-caused global warming and is exacerbated by a recurring, brewing climate pattern known as El Niño, according to the space agency.

A statement outlining the analysis said August alone was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.2 degrees Celsius) warmer than an average summer, covering a record 57 million people in the southern and southern United States. Westerners under a heat wave of the most severe category.

According to the latest data, temperatures in June, July and August combined were 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit (0.23 degrees Celsius) warmer than in all previous summers. relationship. At another NASA conference on the planet’s climate emergency last month, scientists confirmed This year’s July will be the hottest on record, with the previous five Julys being the hottest in the last five years.

“Look around you and you’ll see what happened,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said at the conference. “We have record flooding in Vermont. We have record heat in Phoenix and Miami. Much of the country has been blanketed in wildfire smoke, and of course what we’re watching in real time is the disaster that has occurred in Hawaii with wildfires .”

Related: Satellites reveal a catastrophic year for emperor penguins amid Antarctica’s climate crisis

Scorching July heat directly contributed to the deadliest fire season on record in both Canada and Hawaii, as well as heavy rain and flash flooding across the Mediterranean, including in Greece and Italy, scientists say.

They attribute this record warmth in part to El Niño, which occurs about every two to seven years when winds over the Pacific Ocean, which normally blow westward along the equator from South America toward Asia, interrupt their routine and they move eastward and towards the sea. West Coast of the United States. As a result, Canada and the United States are experiencing much warmer conditions than usual.

“Exceptionally high sea surface temperatures, fueled in part by the return of El Niño, were largely responsible for the record heat of the summer,” Josh Willis, a climatologist and oceanographer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a news conference. of NASA in California. declaration. His team predicts that the greatest impacts of this climate pattern will occur from February to April next year.

However, as climate scientist and GISS director Gavin Schmidt explained at the July conference, natural weather patterns like El Niño contribute minimally to climate change compared to human activities that drive global warming. El Niño, in particular, is estimated to cause a temporary temperature increase of around 0.1 degrees Celsius agency data. Global warming observed so far surpasses that quantity.

“Without human contributions to the factors driving climate change, we wouldn’t see anything like the temperatures we see now,” he said.

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The new analysis, conducted by Willis and his team at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York, comes just a day after another team of scientists warned that human activity has pushed the world beyond a safe operating area. Six of the nine so-called planetary constraints on the global environment, which assess how far humans have diverged from the pre-industrial world, have been violated, the team found.

NASA’s latest update also comes following another report from the World Meteorological Organization that nations are not on track to meet long-term goals previously agreed in the Paris Agreement to limit rising temperatures in Worldwide.

Heat waves are becoming more common and severe, a trend that scientists predict will continue in the coming years, but this year shows that they are also occurring at unexpected times. As just one example, in early September, an unusually late three-day heat wave in New York City broke records after temperatures rose 20 degrees higher than usual.

“Unfortunately, climate change is happening. The things we said would happen are happening,” Schmidt said in the recent statement. “And the situation will get worse if we continue to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.”

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