July 4, 2023: The Hottest Day Ever Recorded on Earth

Julia Schneemann |
Hot earth
The hottest day on earth was recorded this Tuesday, July 4, 2023. | Picture: Boris Riaposov

This Independence Day was hot — and not in the proverbial sense. On July 4, 2023, the planet’s median temperature was 62.92°F (17.8°C), as recorded by ocean buoys placed in oceans across the globe and satellites spinning around Earth.

Scientists at the University of Maine believe this makes it the hottest day ever recorded, albeit their global records only date back to 1979 and data needs to be confirmed by measurement entities like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Daily global average temperatures have been measured centrally since 1979 at the Climate Change Institute in Maine spearheaded by Sean Birkel, Maine state climatologist and assistant professor with a joint appointment in the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the UMaine Climate Change Institute, who developed the Climate Reanalyzer.

The Climate ReAnalyzer, shows clearly that the hottest day on earth was recorded this week by data gathered by the University of Maine. Picture: University of Maine Climate ReAnalyzer

While a global average temperature of 62.92°F (17.8°C) might not seem that high at first glance, one needs to remember that our globe has two hemispheres with one in winter and one in summer and two poles that are covered in ice, significantly bringing down the average compared to the temperature you might be experiencing right now in your own backyard in the USA. Temperatures in the U.S. have been high across the state, with very high temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, which approached 100°F in Oregon, while China has been pushing above 95°F (35°C), while northern African nations have been suffering under 122°F (50°C) heat. Antarctica (which is currently in winter) has also registered above-average temperatures with 10.58°F (-11.9°C) recorded this week, which is way below the average low for July of 15°F (-9.4°C).

The last all-time high was recorded in 2016, which was the last El Niño year when global average temperatures reached 62.6°Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, this may not be the end yet, as the planet is just starting the El Nio pattern and scientists anticipate the record to be broken time and again this year.

Global temperatures on July 4, 2023, as measured by the University of Maine. | Picture: University of Maine Climate ReAnalyzer

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