The United Nations (U.N.) says this summer was the hottest on record, leading to devastating wildfires and damaging farm crops throughout Canada and around the world.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization says that June through August of this year was the warmest stretch that the earth has experienced since records began being kept in 1940.
The average temperature for the summer months this year was 16.77 degrees Celsius, which was 0.66 degrees above the seasonal average.
The month of August was found to be the hottest on record, according to the U.N.
The average surface air temperature of 16.82 degrees Celsius for August was 0.71 degrees warmer than the 1991 to 2020 average for the month.
The record temperatures have led to extreme weather events around the world, including wildfires across Canada and in the western U.S.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a written statement that “climate breakdown has begun” and called on governments around the world to take immediate action to find climate solutions.
This year’s extreme heat coincides with the development of an El Niño, the warming of the Pacific Ocean’s surface temperature through a naturally occurring climate pattern that occurs every two to seven years.
The current El Niño could lead to even more extreme heat and weather in 2024, with climate scientists forecasting that next year could be the first time that humanity surpasses 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperature levels.
The 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold is seen by scientists as a so-called “tipping point,” the moment at which there is a dramatic change in Earth’s life-support system.
The climate crisis is making extreme weather more frequent and more intense, warned the U.N., adding that it could threaten crops and global food supplies moving forward.