Hottest August On Record and Hottest June-August Period Ever Recorded

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Hot earth
The hottest June-August period ever recorded occurred in 2023. | Picture: Boris Riaposov

This year seems to be going down in the record books of rather concerning records. According to the World Meteorological Organization, Earth just saw the hottest August as well as the hottest three months on record. This August was also on record the second hottest ever month after July 2023, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) ERA 5 dataset. August as a whole is estimated to have been around 1.5°C (2.7° Fahrenheit) warmer than the pre-industrial average for 1850-1900, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) monthly climate bulletin.

This June-August period was the hottest ever recorded. | Picture: World Meteorological Organization

This August saw the highest global monthly average sea surface temperatures on record with 20.98°C (69.764° Fahrenheit) recorded. Temperatures exceeded the previous record, which was set in March 2016, which was the last El Niño year, every single day in August. The amount of Antarctic sea ice measured was at a record low level for this time of year, around 12% below average based on satellite observations, which began in the late 1970s. Arctic sea ice extent was 10% below average, but well above the record minimum of August 2012.

“The northern hemisphere just had a summer of extremes – with repeated heatwaves fuelling devastating wildfires, harming health, disrupting daily lives and wreaking a lasting toll on the environment. In the southern hemisphere Antarctic sea ice extent was literally off the charts, and the global sea surface temperature was once again at a new record. It is worth noting that this is happening BEFORE we see the full warming impact of the El Niño event, which typically plays out in the second year after it develops.”

Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General World Meteorological Organization

This year is currently shaping up to be the second hottest year ever recorded after 2016.

“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.”
António Guterres, Secretary-General UN

This year is currently the second hottest year ever recorded behind 2016. | Picture: World Meteorological Organization

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