July 2023 saw the hottest three-week period ever recorded and the three hottest days on record, leading scientists from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service to describe conditions as “rather remarkable and unprecedented.”
Similarly in our oceans, temperatures were at their highest-ever recorded levels for this time of year with the trend evident since the end of April. Director of Climate Services at WMO added that these temperatures occurred despite the sea-cooling phenomenon, La Niña, being prevalent towards the end of that period in the Pacific region, which slightly lowered global average temperatures. Now El Niña has ended and is being replaced with sea-warming El Nino effect, heating up the tropical Pacific.
In a speech at the UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General underscored the need for global action on emissions, climate adaptation and climate finance, warning that “the era of global warming has ended” and “the era of global boiling has arrived.” Climate change is certainly here, but he urged that we can still prevent the worst by turning “a year of burning heat into a year of burning ambition.”
Upcoming summits, including the UN Climate Ambition Summit in September and the COP28 climate conference in Dubai in November are critical opportunities for leaders to drive climate action and climate justice, especially among G20 leaders, of whom are accountable for 80 per cent of global emissions.