June, July and August was Earth’s hottest three-month period ever, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, pushing world leaders to sound the alarm on worsening climate conditions across the globe.
Temperatures have consistently risen this past summer, with the average temperature being 16.77 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit) for the June-July-August season.
This August, the warmest on record, comes second only to July for being the warmest recorded month, as heatwaves simmered across the southern U.S. and southern Europe.
Sea surface temperatures are rising, too: in August, average sea surface temperatures rose to 20.98 degrees Celsius (nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
Copernicus’ summer 2023 report on surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures comes as over 6,500 daily heat records were broken in the U.S., sea surface temperatures near Florida hit 100 degrees and southern European heat waves sparked deadly wildfires across the region. The report, which was released on Tuesday, raises concerns for public health as extreme heat can cause cardiovascular complication, electrolyte imbalance, kidney stones, renal failure and respiratory complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has recorded at least 1,300 heat-related illnesses across the U.S. on Monday. Warming sea surface temperatures has caused scientists to believe this hurricane season will be above average. Hurricane Idalia, a Category 3 hurricane, inundated Florida and flooded Florida and, when weakened into a tropical storm, flooded parts of Georgia and South Carolina at the end of August. Hurricane Hilary barreled through Mexico before weakening into a tropical storm and crossing over into the U.S. west coast–the first tropical storm to hit the region in over 80 years.
What To Watch For
Tropical Storm Lee has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to be a Category 3 hurricane in the Bahamas by Friday.
“Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record. 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,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a press release from the World Meteorological Organization.