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EU climate report: Earth experienced hottest three months ever in summer 2023

Climate scientists have been closely monitoring extreme world temperatures amid one of the hottest summers in recorded history. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
1 of 2 | Climate scientists have been closely monitoring extreme world temperatures amid one of the hottest summers in recorded history. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The planet experienced the hottest three-month period in its history this summer, punctuated by numerous heat records across the globe as sea surface temperatures soared to unprecedented levels, according to a climate study from the European Union published Wednesday.

The analysis determined that July 2023 was the hottest month in recorded history, followed by the warmest August ever documented, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which tracks global climate data for the EU.

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Both months followed a record-setting June that kicked off the extraordinary summer heat wave.

Copernicus released a similar analysis in early August declaring July 2023 the hottest month ever on Earth, with daily surface air temperatures rising drastically since 1940 while 2023 was outpacing all other years in what's now considered the hottest summer in modern human history.

The ongoing scorcher, attributed to climate change, has broken numerous temperature records dating back to the mid-19th century, with the first eight months of this year becoming the second-hottest on record alongside 2016, when a powerful El Niño bathed the globe in sweltering heat.

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August also saw the highest-ever monthly average for global sea surface temperatures, which topped more than 101 degrees every single day of the month, the study said.

"Our planet has just endured a season of simmering -- the hottest summer on record," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in the report. "Climate breakdown has begun. Scientists have long warned what our fossil fuel addiction will unleash. Surging temperatures demand a surge in action. Leaders must turn up the heat now for climate solutions. We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos -- and we don't have a moment to lose."

Meanwhile, satellite observations showed Antarctic sea ice has reached a record low -- 12% below average in August -- compared to where ice levels have been historically at this time of year. At the same time, Arctic sea ice was about 10% below average, a level not seen since the late 1970s, the report said.

A climate study published in January predicted half of the world's glaciers will melt and disappear before the turn of the next century despite meaningful efforts in recent years to address global warming.

In May, the World Meteorological Organization issued a report warning that global temperatures were likely to rise to historic levels over the next five years due to increased greenhouse gases and give rise to extreme weather events.

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Further, the international climate agency predicted that 2023 through 2027 would go down as the hottest years on record, with a 66% chance of the average annual surface temperature usurping climate goals set by the Paris Agreement to shrink global warming through the next century.

The unrelenting conditions around the world are expected to continue for the foreseeable future -- potentially into late fall and the start of winter, according to meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Previously, meteorologists warned that another El Niño event was likely to prolong extreme temperatures into the coming months, raising the potential for even more heat records.

Extreme temperatures were still being felt across the United States, Mexico, Southern Europe, China, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean as Mother Nature held its grip.

A recent analysis by World Weather Attribution said extreme world temperatures in July were a likely sign of worsening climate change, and that heat waves were no longer rare but at least 50 times more likely in the modern world.

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