UN chief: Data shows July equaled or surpassed hottest month

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The latest data from the World Meteorological Organization shows the month of July "at least equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history"—and it followed the hottest June ever, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday.

The U.N. chief told reporters that "this is even more significant because the previous hottest month, July 2016, occurred during one of the strongest El Nino's ever," which was not the case this year.

An El Nino is a natural warming of the ocean that once it interacts with the atmosphere often warms up the globe and changes rainfall and temperature patterns, making some places wetter and some places drier.

Guterres said the latest weather data, including temperature-shattering records from New Delhi and Anchorage to Paris, Santiago, Adelaide, Australia and the Arctic Circle, means the world is on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 "to be the five hottest years on record."

He warned that if all nations don't take immediate action to tackle climate change, extreme weather events happening now "are just the tip of the iceberg."

"And the iceberg is also rapidly melting," Guterres said.

Arctic Sea ice is already near record low levels, he said, and the European heat wave last month has raised temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland by 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

"Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives and for our lives," Guterres said. "It is a race we can—and must—win."

In his efforts to keep climate change at the top of the global agenda, the secretary-general has organized a Youth Climate Summit for Sept. 21, to be followed by a Climate Action Summit for world leaders on Sept. 23, the day before their annual gathering at the U.N. General Assembly.

Guterres said he looks forward to welcoming young leaders, including 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

He said he has told leaders from governments, business and civil society "that the ticket to entry is bold action and much greater ambition," not "beautiful speeches."

The 2015 Paris climate agreement aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, compared with pre-industrial times, to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Guterres said that target must be met.

He said greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming, must be cut by 45 percent by 2030 and "we need carbon neutrality by 2050." The secretary-general said that will require rapid and deep change "in how we do business, generate power, build cities and feed the world."

He pointed to some good news, including solar and onshore wind now the cheapest sources of new power in virtually all major economies.

"Many countries—from Chile to Finland and from the United Kingdom to the Marshall Islands—have concrete and credible plans to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century," Guterres said. "And many others—from Ethiopia to New Zealand to Fiji to Pakistan—are planting hundreds of millions of trees to reverse deforestation ... and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

He also praised businesses with a combined value of more than $1.3 trillion that have signed on to a campaign by the U.N. Global Compact to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Explore further

The heat goes on: June toastiest on record, July may follow

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: UN chief: Data shows July equaled or surpassed hottest month (2019, August 1) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-chief-july-equaled-surpassed-hottest.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Aug 01, 2019
In order to avert an environmental apocalpyse, let us take extreme measures today to make the human world a sustainable stable balance with nature. Let us strike down as madmen and murderers all those who would oppose saving Earth and humanity. What other choice is there?

Aug 01, 2019
What other choice is there?

try critical thinking

Aug 01, 2019
Another steaming load of AGW Cult bullshit.
Gobble up, Chicken Shites.

Aug 02, 2019
What other choice is there?

try critical thinking

There's no shortage of critical thinking on the topic, and yet somehow for the last thirty-plus years, it's been shouted down endlessly by people exactly like you. You must really hate the idea of sustainable living on Earth, and I'll bet you don't even know why you do it. It sounds pathological, but it's become an existential danger for us all.

Aug 02, 2019
"Critical thinking" is not about rejecting every claim science makes. Rejecting every claim science makes is psychotic. That's not "critical thinking." It's pathology.

Aug 09, 2019

It's amazing what "weaponised stupids" and/or bots can do on the net these days, hey @antigoracle? Your daily betrayal of all that is ethical may earn you your 'thirty pieces of silver' for the moment, but your family/descendants will pay for it manyfold in the future. You have demonstrated that you and your troll-factory-employed mates are such twisted/mercenary bots and/or weaponised-stupids that there's no hope of reason or humanity being realised in you or your programmers/handlers any time soon. Pity.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more