Washington, Sept 14 (EFE).- According to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, this summer was the hottest since global records began in 1880.
June, July, and August combined recorded temperatures 0.23 degrees Celsius (0.41 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than any other summer recorded by NASA and 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the average temperature of summers between 1951 and 1980.
August alone was 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 Fahrenheit) warmer than average.
NASA notes that this follows “exceptional heat” across much of the world, “exacerbating” natural tragedies such as wildfires in Canada and Hawaii; “searing” heat waves in South America, Japan, Europe, and the US; and “likely contributing” to heavy rains in Italy, Greece, the US and central Europe.
“The record-setting summer of 2023 continues a long-term trend of warming. Scientific observations and analyses made over decades by NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other international institutions have shown this warming has been driven primarily by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions,” said the statement issued by NASA.
Although natural El Niño events in the Pacific “pump extra warmth” into the atmosphere and “often correlate with the warmest years on record.”
Josh Willis, a climate scientist and oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, explained that “with background warming and marine heat waves that have been creeping up on us for decades, this El Niño shot us over the hump for setting all kinds of records.”
“The heat waves that we experience now are longer, hotter, and more punishing. The atmosphere can also hold more water now. When it’s hot and humid, it’s even harder for the human body to regulate its temperature, ” he added.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the record temperatures for the summer of 2023 “aren’t just a set of numbers” but “result in dire real-world consequences” as “extreme weather is threatening lives and livelihoods around the world.”
NASA assembles its temperature record using surface air temperature data from tens of thousands of weather stations and sea surface temperature data from ship- and buoy-based instruments.
The record calculates temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures. A temperature anomaly shows how far the average baseline temperature has drifted from 1951 to 1980. EFE