Image source: UN World Meteorological Organization

“The exceptional warmth in June and at the start of July occurred at the onset of the development of El Niño, which is expected to further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans and lead to more extreme temperatures and marine heatwaves,” said Prof. Christopher Hewitt, WMO Director of Climate Services.

The record-breaking temperatures on land and in the ocean have potentially devastating impacts on ecosystems and the environment. They highlight the far-reaching changes taking place in Earth’s system as a result of human-induced climate change.

“We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024,” said Christopher Hewitt, WMO director of climate services. “This is worrying news for the planet.”

According to provisional analysis based on reanalysis data from Japan named JRA-3Q, the average global temperature on 7 July was 17.24 degrees Celsius. This is 0.3°C above the previous record of 16.94 °C on 16 August 2016 – a strong El Niño year.

A report from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service – a close  collaborator with the World Meteorological Organization – showed that June 2023  was just over 0.5°C above the 1991-2020 average, smashing the previous record of June 2019.

Record June temperatures were experienced across northwest Europe, according to Copernicus. Parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Asia, and eastern Australia were significantly warmer than normal.

June wasn’t the hottest everywhere, in fact  It was cooler than normal in a few places including over western Australia, the western United States, and western Russia.

Global sea surface temperatures were at record high for the time of the year both in May and June. This comes with a cost. It will impact fisheries distribution and the ocean circulation in general, with knock-on effects on the climate. It is not only the surface temperature, but the whole ocean is becoming warmer and absorbing energy that will remain there for hundreds of years. Alarm bells are ringing especially loudly because of the unprecedented sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic.

Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest extent for June since satellite observations began, at 17% below average, breaking the previous June record by a substantial margin.Throughout the month, the daily Antarctic sea ice extent remained at unprecedented low values for the time of year.

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