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Is 2023 the hottest year in human history? September set another global record

Recent climate data has painted a grim picture of the state of our planet’s health. According to preliminary analyses, global warmth reached unprecedented levels in September – possibly even surpassing the alarming temperature increases observed in July and August. 

This trend suggests that global warming isn’t just happening; it’s accelerating at a pace that could be faster than what most climate scientists predicted.

The experts report that September’s temperature was about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average temperature for this month from 1991 to 2020.

Summer temperatures in September 

According to data from both European and Japanese climate scientists, September temperatures around the world reached levels that would be closer to normal for July.

In other words, the heat typically experienced in the peak of summer was occurring in early fall. It’s a clear shift from historical patterns.

Another shocking revelation is that September’s temperature broke the previous record by an astonishing margin. 

The planet’s average temperature broke the previous September record by more than half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit). 

October heat in Spain

Now, a few days into October, temperatures continue to reach new levels. According to AEMET weather agency, Spain experienced record-breaking heat in the first two days of this month.

The country endured three “record days of heat,” beginning on Friday and peaking on Sunday at 38.2 degrees Celsius (100.7 Fahrenheit) in Montoro, near Cordoba. This surpasses the previous October record set in 2014 in Marbella, when temperatures reached 37.5C.

“On October 1, it reached an all-time high for this time of year in practically the entire Iberian Peninsula,” the agency posted on X, formerly Twitter, noting that nearly 40 percent of its weather stations had registered a temperature of 32C or higher. This intense weather is expected to continue, with up to “10 more days of record heat” anticipated.

Monday temperatures hit a high of 38.1C in Seville, indicative of the extended heatwave affecting Spain – a country familiar with elevated summer temperatures, especially in the south. 

Successive heatwaves 

However, recent years have shown an increase in the duration and intensity of these heatwaves. Experts attribute this trend to climate change. 

Spain, which recorded its hottest year in 2022, is currently grappling with successive heatwaves that began unusually early in April, exacerbating the ongoing drought in the region.

Heat continues in the UK

The United Kingdom recently tied its record for the warmest September since records began in 1884, with a mean temperature of 15.2 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). 

According to Mark McCarthy from the Met Office, this temperature record is noteworthy due to the warmth experienced in the first half of September. The UK also recorded seven consecutive days with temperatures surpassing 30 Celsius.

Hottest September on record

Furthermore, Japan experienced its hottest September since record-keeping started 125 years ago. The Japan Meteorological Agency noted an extraordinary average temperature increase of 2.66 degrees Celsius above the norm, setting records in multiple locations, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. 

Other countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland, also reported their warmest Septembers on record, aligning with predictions that this year might be the hottest in human history due to accelerating climate change.

Escalating climate crisis 

These rising global temperatures have prompted urgent discussions and warnings from climate experts and authorities. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, addressing the escalating climate crisis, stated that “humanity has opened the gates to hell.” 

However, Guterres also emphasized that it is still possible to limit the global temperature rise to the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees, necessary to prevent a long-term climate catastrophe.

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