If you’ve stepped outside in the last few days and found the heat uncomfortable, take refuge in one thing: it isn’t just you. It isn’t even just your city or state — the average temperature around the world has been so high that it set a new record on Monday. Again: that’s the highest average global temperature ever recorded. If you’ve been on the fence about the reality of climate change, might I recommend that as a pretty tangible example of both its existence and the threat it poses?
A report at The Guardian has more information on the record heat. The previous record was set in August of 2016, when the average temperature reached 16.92 degrees Celsius, or 62.46 degrees Fahrenheit. On Monday, that mark was eclipsed; on the day in question, the average temperature rose to 17.01 degrees Celsius, or 62.62 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Guardian points to brutally high temperatures across the globe as contributing to the new record. Specifically, China, Northern Africa and the American Southwest have all been experiencing sweltering temperatures — something that’s made life difficult for the people living there and which has played into this new record as well. Even Antarctica is also experiencing significantly higher temperatures than usual at this time of year.
Is Climate Change Making Turbulence Worse?Experts say, unequivocally, yes.
Last month, Vox’s Umair Irfan explored the impact of El Niño on the coming summer weather. That article cited a statement from World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, who said, “A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory.” Now, that’s come to pass.
Taalas added, “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared.” This global record temperature is only one part of a much larger story — and it has the potential to go to some unsettling places.
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