Hottest week in history: WMO report

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PARIS: The first week of July was the hottest week on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice extent, preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has shown.

“The exceptional warmth in June and at the start of July occurred at the onset of the development of El Niño, which is expected to further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans,” WMO Director of Climate Services Christopher Hewitt said after the data was published on Monday.

Hewitt further warned that “we are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024”.

The average global temperature on July 7 was 17.24 degrees Celsius, 0.3°C above the previous record set in August 2016.

The unprecedented temperatures in the North Atlantic are also of great concern and are associated with extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tropical cyclones, heavy rain, and drought in West Africa.

Extreme marine heatwaves were observed in June around Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Baltic Sea.

Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest extent for June since satellite observations began, while Arctic sea ice extent was slightly below average but well above the values from the past eight years.

June 2023 was drier than average in North America, Russia, the Horn of Africa, southern Africa, South America, and regions of Australia, leading to severe wildfires.

Meanwhile, it was wetter than average in southern Europe, Iceland, north-western Russia, and other regions, causing floods.

Typhoon Mawar hit Japan, and cyclone Biparjoy affected Pakistan.

The record-breaking temperatures on land and in the ocean have devastating impacts on ecosystems and the environment, highlighting the severity of the current climate crisis and its wide-ranging impacts on various regions of the world.

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