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Record-Breaking September Heat Leaves Scientists Astonished

Record-breaking September heat leaves scientists astonished as the Northern Hemisphere enters the autumn season. Recent data reveals that September was the hottest on record, marking the fourth consecutive month of this unprecedented heat wave.

William Willis
Oct 06, 20238028 Shares113070 Views
Record-breaking September heat leaves scientists astonishedas the Northern Hemisphere enters the autumn season. Recent data reveals that September was the hottest on record, marking the fourth consecutive month of this unprecedented heat wave. This alarming trend sets 2023 on a course to become the hottest year ever recorded.
In a startling comparison, September surpassed the previous monthly temperature record set in 2020 by a remarkable 0.5 degrees Celsius. This information was released on Wednesday by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, highlighting that no month has ever exhibited such an abnormal level of heat since Copernicus began keeping records in 1940.
The unprecedented temperatures for the time of year observed in September - following a record summer - have broken records by an extraordinary amount.- Samantha Burgess, deputy director of Copernicus
September resembled an unusually scorching July, with a global average air temperature of 16.38 degrees Celsius (61.45 Fahrenheit). This temperature was a staggering 0.93 degrees Celsius hotter than the 1991 to 2020 average and a remarkable 1.75 degrees Celsius hotter than the September average from the pre-industrial era, prior to the widespread use of fossil fuels.
This temperature surge significantly exceeds the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold established by countries in their efforts to limit global warming under the Paris Climate Agreement. While the agreement primarily focuses on long-term average temperatures, the abnormal heat experienced in September, following the hottest summer on record, offers a glimpse of the extreme weather that the world can anticipate as rising temperatures intensify climate events.
During September alone, there were devastating consequences, including fatal flooding that claimed lives in Libya and caused casualties in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Canada grappled with an unprecedented wildfire season, while parts of South America endured scorching temperatures and New York faced record-breaking rainfall inundation.
In September, ocean temperatures reached unprecedented levels. The average sea surface temperature soared to 20.92 degrees Celsius (69.66 Fahrenheit), setting a new record for September and becoming the second-highest ever recorded for any month, following August of the same year. Additionally, Antarctic sea ice levels plummeted to record lows for this particular season.
"This month was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist - absolutely gobsmackingly bananas," Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist, posted on X(formerly Twitter) on Tuesday.
As October unfolds, there is no respite from the relentless heat. Several European nations, including Spain, Poland, Austria, and France, have already shattered their long-standing October temperature records. This information comes from Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist and weather historian renowned for monitoring extreme temperature events.
What Europe experienced in the first three days of October was "one of the most extreme (climate) events in European history," Herrera posted on Xon Tuesday.
A man pouring water on his head from a PET bottle
A man pouring water on his head from a PET bottle
It is increasingly evident that this year will undoubtedly go down as the hottest on record. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the likelihood of achieving this historic milestone now stands at over 93%.
The extreme September has pushed 2023 into the dubious honor of first place - on track to be the warmest year and around 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial average temperatures.- Samantha Burgess
The elevated temperatures have, in part, been influenced by El Niño, a natural climate pattern originating in the tropical Pacific Ocean known for its warming impact. However, it's crucial to recognize that beneath this pattern lies the enduring trend of climate change driven by human activities.
"Temperature records continue to be broken because we have not stopped burning fossil fuels. It is that simple," said Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in the UK.
Stressing the importance of the substantial margin by which heat records are being shattered, she emphasized, "People and ecosystems are suffering."


Nations are scheduled to convene in Dubai for the United Nations COP28 climate summit in December to evaluate advancements toward climate objectives. A recent report indicates that the world is currently far from meeting these goals.
"The significant margin by which the September record was broken should be a wake-up call for policymakers and negotiators ahead of COP28," Otto said, "we absolutely must agree to phase out fossil fuels."
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