Unofficial records reveal the world’s average temperature reached a new high for the third time in a week, reaching 17.23C on Thursday. This break the 17.01C record set on Monday and was surpassed by 17.18C the previous day. The temperature is driven by human-induced climate change and El Niño, according to scientists.
The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most powerful climate fluctuation on Earth, occurring every three to seven years. In the warming phase, warmer waters come to the surface of the tropical Pacific and push heat into the atmosphere.
The global daily temperature record has been broken, but scientists are concerned about the potential impacts on people and the environment. The last time the record was broken was in August 2016. Climate Reanalyzer, a tool used by scientists at the University of Maine, uses a combination of surface, air balloon, satellite observations, and computer modeling to assess global temperatures.
The US weather service, NOAA, cannot confirm records partly from computer simulations, but acknowledges the warm period due to climate change. Scientists warn that the record is uncommonly hot and it is likely to continue to be broken this summer.
El Niño hasn’t peaked yet, and summer is still in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the daily temperature record is broken again and again in 2023. Higher global temperatures are likely to make heatwaves even hotter and wildfires more severe. Last month was the hottest June on record, according to the EU’s climate monitoring service Copernicus.
UK Met Office’s study revealed record-high June temperatures, causing unprecedented fish deaths and threats to insects’ survival. Climate change increased the risk of heat, with North Africa experiencing temperatures near 50C and parts of China under 40C. Southern Europe could face over 60 days of dangerous conditions this summer. Higher-than-average heat affects crops and wildfires. Sea temperatures have also increased, with a marine heatwave in the UK and Ireland.
Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest extent for June, 17% below average. Governments worldwide are committed to reducing carbon emissions to reach net zero, where humans stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Global temperatures will only stabilize once the world reaches net zero.