Home ESG Heatwave in September 2023 Signals Climate Alarm Bells  

Heatwave in September 2023 Signals Climate Alarm Bells  

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In a stark and record-breaking climate milestone, September 2023 has etched its place in history as the hottest September ever recorded. The data, meticulously collected by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), delivers a somber warning: 2023 is teetering on the precipice of becoming the hottest year ever documented. These stark findings, verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), thrust the spotlight squarely onto our planet’s climate crisis.

Record-Breaking Temperatures

The statistics tell an alarming story: September 2023 witnessed an astonishingly high average surface temperature of 16.38°C. This scorching figure catapulted it a daunting 0.5°C above the previous record established in September 2020. The disparity becomes even more unsettling when placed in the context of pre-industrial levels, with September 2023 registering an alarming 1.75°C increase. Furthermore, it soared 0.93°C above the 1991- 2020 baseline, a critical reference point for climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture.

Greenhouse Gas Impact

These revelations serve as a resounding wake-up call: our planet is experiencing unprecedented extremes in both land and sea-surface temperatures. This distressing reality underscores the alarming pace at which greenhouse gases (GHGs) are reshaping our global climate.

Petteri Taalas, WMO’s Secretary-General, voiced grave concerns, noting, “The temperature anomalies are monumental — surpassing anything observed in the past. Antarctic winter sea ice extent plummeted to record lows for this time of year. “He emphasized the compounding effect of the ongoing El Nino event, foreshadowing several more months of exceptional climate patterns with far-reaching consequences for our environment and societies.

A Year of Climate Extremes

Samantha Burgess, C3S Deputy Director, underscored the historical significance of September 2023. She highlighted that this extraordinary month has propelled 2023 into a perilous trajectory, with temperatures poised to hover approximately 1.4°C above pre-industrial averages.

The Urgency for Action

With the impending COP28 UN climate change conference in Dubai, the call for ambitious climate action reverberates more urgently than ever before. Policymakers, leaders, and individuals worldwide must heed this stark clarion call and embrace rigorous measures to curtail GHG emissions and confront the burgeoning climate crisis head-on.

WMO relies on C3S data for its State of the Global Climate monitoring reports. The UN agency is gearing up to unveil its 2023 provisional report at the onset of COP28. During this pivotal conference, nations will converge to accelerate their efforts to transition to clean energy sources, with the aim of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in alignment with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

It’s imperative to remember that while individual months or years may breach the 1.5°C threshold, the Paris Agreement primarily addresses long-term climate trends over extended periods. Nevertheless, September’s record-breaking events underscore the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis.


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