July was the hottest month ever on Earth, according to EU agency
Ocean temperatures also rose this month.
July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, the European Union's climate observatory, Copernicus, has confirmed.
The news comes as massive heatwaves covered mainland Europe across the month, causing major issues including wildfires which ripped through Greece and its surrounding islands.
"The month was 0.72C warmer than the 1991-2020 average for July," said the EU agency.
"Heatwaves were experienced in multiple regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including southern Europe. Well-above average temperatures occurred over several South American countries and around much of Antarctica."
The July #C3S Climate Bulletin is out now:
?Global average temperature was highest on record for any month.
?Drier-than-average conditions across the Mediterranean basin.
?#Antarctic sea ice extent reached a record low for July at 15% below average.
— Copernicus ECMWF (@CopernicusECMWF) August 8, 2023
Copernicus said that the global mean for 2023 is the "third highest on record" and temperatures for the remainder of the year are expected to remain high.
"The global mean for 2023 is the third highest on record, at 0.43C relative to 1991-2020, compared with 0.49C for 2016 and 0.48C for 2020. The gap between 2023 and 2016 is expected to narrow in the coming months, as the latter months of 2016 were relatively cool... while the remainder of 2023 is expected to be relatively warm as the current El Nino event develops."
Surface level of Earth's oceans rising
The agency also noted that the temperature of the oceans' surface rose to 20.96 degrees Celsius this month, breaking the record of 20.95C in March 2016.
"We just witnessed global air temperatures and global ocean surface temperatures set new all-time records in July. These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever more frequent and intense extreme events," said Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service
"2023 is currently the third warmest year to date at 0.43C above the recent average, with the average global temperature in July at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
"Even if this is only temporary, it shows the urgency for ambitious efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, which are the main driver behind these records," she said.
Last month, Greece was ravaged by forest fires. Reports suggested that around 19,000 people were evacuated by either land or sea from the affected areas of the Greek island of Rhodes.
Irish holidaymakers were urged to seriously consider the risks of any upcoming trips to mainland Europe last month and beyond as the continent was gripped by the dangerous Cerberus heatwave.
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