Global Warming Fueling Global Catastrophes
July 2023 was the hottest month on record globally. It will likely become the new normal and one that will not retreat for centuries—if ever.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The average global temperature for July 2023 was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average–the warmest July on record since records began in 1880.
The global average temperature for July 2023 is confirmed to be the highest on record for any month. The month was 0.72°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average for July, and 0.33°C warmer than the previous warmest month, July 2019. The month is estimated to have been around 1.5°C warmer than the average for 1850-1900.
The heat wave in July 2023 was particularly severe in the Arctic, where temperatures were up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average. This led to widespread melting of sea ice and permafrost, and contributed to the record-breaking heat wave in Siberia. Similar patterns are expanding around the globe, which contributed to the massive wildfires across Canada and the recent wildfire that consumed much of Lahaina on Maui.
The heat wave in July 2023 was also felt in the United States, where many states experienced record-breaking temperatures. In California, the temperature in Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever recorded in the contiguous United States.
The record-breaking heat in July 2023 is a sign of the increasing severity of climate change. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we can expect to see more extreme heat waves in the future. We will see more mass migration and more insecurity around food and water.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2022 was the hottest year on record globally, with the 10 warmest years on record occurring since 2010. The five warmest months on record also occurred in 2022, including January, February, March, May, and June.
The WMO attributed the record-breaking temperatures to human-caused climate change. The report stated that greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere continued to rise in 2022, reaching a new record high. This is causing the planet to warm, leading to more extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires.
Arizona, Florida, Maine and New Mexico all recorded their hottest July on record last month, while Louisiana recorded its second-hottest.
Scorching heat was also common in Arizona, where the average maximum temperature reached 101.4 F, and the city of Phoenix recorded an average temperature of 102.8 F in July – the hottest month on record for any U.S. city. The hottest day was 6 July, when the global average temperature reached 17.08°C
Contributing to the July heat wave around the globe is unusually high sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Since April, the global average daily SST has remained at record levels.
“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 Petteri Taalas. “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must.”
The record-breaking temperatures last summer had a devastating impact on people and ecosystems around the world. The heat wave in America’s Pacific Northwest killed hundreds of people and caused widespread power outages. In Europe, a heat wave and drought led to wildfires that destroyed forests and homes. Nearly 20,000 people – primarily tourists – were forced to flee hotels on Rhodes, the island worst affected by the fires, in a single day. The operation was described as the biggest evacuation ever carried out in Greece. A state of emergency was declared in some areas of the popular tourist destination earlier this week.
The WMO warned that the planet is on track to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the mid-century, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rate. This would have catastrophic consequences for the planet and its people.
The WMO called on governments to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. The report stated that “we are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now will determine the future of our planet.”
Fossil fuels are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for over 75% of global emissions. When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat, causing the planet to warm.
The burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, has concluded that it is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.
The effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. We are seeing more extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires. Sea levels are rising, and glaciers are melting. These changes are having a devastating impact on people and ecosystems around the world.
We need to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. This means transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, such as solar and wind power. It also means investing in energy efficiency and conservation measures. We need to act now to protect our planet for future generations. The future of our planet depends on it.
Here are some of the harmful effects of fossil fuels on climate change:
Global warming: The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat, causing the planet to warm. This is leading to more extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires.
Sea level rise: As the planet warms, the ice caps and glaciers are melting. This is causing sea levels to rise. This is threatening coastal communities around the world.
Ocean acidification: The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, making it more acidic. This is harming marine life and disrupting the marine food chain.
Air pollution: The burning of fossil fuels releases pollutants into the air, such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants can cause respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer.
Climate change refugees: As the effects of climate change become more severe, people will be forced to flee their homes. This is creating a new crisis of climate change refugees.
We need to take urgent action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and transition to clean energy sources. We also need to invest in adaptation measures to help communities cope with the effects of climate change.