The world is in “uncharted territory” after recording its hottest-ever week, according to experts from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Several days in the first week of July broke daily temperature records and July is on track to be the hottest month on record.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres says it shows “climate change is out of control”.
The weekly record
Measuring global average temperature is a complicated exercise that involves computer modelling as well as direct measurements. This means different meteorological organisations can produce slightly different results, and early results can change.
However, early results from the Japanese Meteorological Agency suggest the first week of July was the hottest ever.
Several days in the week recorded an average temperature above 17.2ºC, beating the previous daily record of 16.94ºC from August 2016. The WMO says these results match early results from
The result comes after the hottest June ever recorded, with record-breaking land and sea surface temperatures.
The current record for the hottest month ever recorded is July 2021. July is typically the hottest month of the year, so a continuation of the current pattern could see the all-time monthly record broken.
The WMO says there are two key reasons for the warm weather.
One is a heatwave in the North Atlantic ocean, which WMO Head of World Climate Research Dr Michael Sparrow says is “much higher than anything the models predicted” and of “great concern”.
According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, this heatwave is caused by a combination of short-term anomalies and longer-term climate change.
The second is the ‘El Niño’ weather event developing in the Pacific Ocean, which leads to hotter, drier temperatures in areas including Australia.
El Niño is in its early stages, and the WMO expects it will continue to drive higher temperatures in the coming months.
WMO Director of Climate Services Professor Christopher Hewitt says “we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024… This is worrying news for the planet.”