“The era of global warming has ended. The era of global boiling has arrived.” So announced United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres as it was confirmed that July 2023 had become the hottest month in the past 120,000 years.
What will I learn from this article?
- July 2023: the hottest month ever recorded
- How to avoid the worst consequences of global boiling
- Who is causing and who is halting global boiling?
July 2023 becomes the hottest month ever recorded and announces the era of global boiling
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program confirmed that July 2023 will be the hottest month ever recorded.
According to the data of these entities, the month produced the period of the warmest three weeks, the three hottest days, and the highest ocean temperatures ever documented for this time of the year.
On hearing news of the data, the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres gave an emphatic speech to the press in New York in which he called for immediate climate action and referred to the present situation as “the era of global boiling”.
“The month produced the period of the warmest three weeks, the three hottest days and the highest ocean temperatures for this time of the year”
On top of the high temperatures, we have been able to see the effects of global warming acting out in the news over the recent months: droughts becoming more intense and severe, large forest fires occurring earlier and out of season, and soon we will experience the first summer without ice in the Arctic Ocean.
According to the WMO, it’s unlikely that July’s temperature record will prove to be a one-off. Indeed, the organization estimates that there is a 98% probability that at least one of the next five years will be the hottest ever recorded.
The WMO also warns of a 66% chance that, in at least one of the next five years, global temperature will temporarily exceed the 1.5°C threshold above pre-industrial levels, an important limit since it is above that established in the Paris Agreement.
Still time to avoid the worst consequences of global boiling
Despite the data, there’s still room for optimism. Guterres stated that it’s still possible for us to achieve the target of limiting the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, thus avoiding the worst of global boiling. But this will only be achieved if we set about working for it immediately and with determination.
He recognized that there had been progress in the roll-out of renewable energies and in other fields. But he pointed out that there was much to do in order to achieve the decarbonization of the economy and carbon neutrality, a goal most countries had committed to reaching by 2050.
The secretary general also asked for measures of adaptation and population protection to be taken with respect to the roasting heat, flooding, storms, drought and fires. In this respect, the role of resilient, regenerative infrastructure will have a key role in the design and development of cities that can mitigate the effects of climate change, as we explain here.
We are to blame for global boiling, but we can also stop it
“For scientists, it is unequivocal: humans are to blame. The air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable, and the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable,” Guterres stressed.
The IPCC already announced it several years ago: we are responsible for climate change. It also said it’s in our hands to put a brake on the rising temperatures and mitigate their worst effects.
The era of global boiling is not a phase to which we must adapt, but an urgent call to action. Humanity has been the detonator of climate change and thus has the means to reverse it. There is still room for optimism if we act immediately and with determination.
As Antonio Guterres put it so well: this should not result in desperation, but action. It’s time to convert the burning heat into burning ambition and speed up climate action. The future of our planet depends on it.