July 2023 Set to Become the Hottest Month Ever Recorded With Extreme Heat to Continue

June 2023 was the hottest June on record. Extreme heat in Asia, Europe, and North America is set to make July 2023 the hottest month ever recorded, according to NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Schmidt warns that the extreme heat has likely only just begun. While an early start to an El Niño weather pattern in the Eastern Pacific contributes to higher temperatures across the globe, it has yet to form fully.

“We anticipate that 2024 will be an even warmer year because we’re going to be starting off with that El Niño event,” Schmidt said at a recent news conference. Nonetheless, the extreme heat reflects a “decade-on-decade increase in temperatures throughout the last four decades,” primarily due to human activity, particularly greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are seeing unprecedented changes all over the world,” said Schmidt. “The heat waves that we are seeing in the U.S., in Europe, in China are demolishing records left, right and center.”

We Saw It Coming

“A lot of this is expected—it is what our models predicted would happen,” said Kristina Dahl, a principal climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “But I think the impacts are more severe than I would have anticipated. … Just seeing how it actually plays out, I think, is heartbreaking.”

We’ve known for decades the dangers of human impact on climate. Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius proposed in 1896 that burning coal could eventually upset Earth’s natural carbon cycle, raising global temperatures.

The post-war Great Acceleration of the 1950s brought fresh warnings of climate disruption from burning fossil fuels.

In the 1970s, Exxon scientists produced groundbreaking climate research. The current climate trajectory bears out the accuracy of their research. But it was too much for Exxon’s corporate leadership, spending the subsequent decades dismissing and disavowing their own scientists’ findings.

“The Earth is screaming at us,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “The fuse has been burning for decades, and now the climate change bomb has gone off.”

Whether we accept Inslee’s assessment or not, we are forced to respond—eventually—to a rapidly changing climate. If the climate change bomb has yet to go off, consider how bad it will be when it does.

The extreme heat this summer across the northern hemisphere reveals that the longer we wait, the harder it will be.


Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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