June 2023 was the hottest June on record. Temperatures exceeded the 1991-2020 average by 0.5C. Ocean temperatures rose alarmingly. Antarctic sea ice fell in June to its lowest extent for the month in the satellite record, at 17% below average.
Many countries suffered extreme heat waves. As examples, extreme heat in Mexico killed more than 100 people. Beijing reported 10 consecutive days with temperatures above 35C.
2023 may well be the hottest year on record. Global temperatures are set to reach new heights in the next five years.
Aside from human-caused global warming, a factor in the extraordinary warming right now is the onset of the El Niño phenomena, following a 3-year period of La Niña. El Niño and La Niña are alternating perturbations of the Gulf Stream, the former bringing generally warmer weather, the latter, colder.
In 2015, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement committing to making efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The World Meteorological Organization reports:
There is a 66% likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record.
The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero.
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is urgent!