“The era of global boiling has arrived”, with July confirmed to be the world’s hottest month on record.
Scientists made the grim announcement on Thursday, with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres speaking to the findings.
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“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning,” Mr Guterres said.
“It is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels] and avoid the very worst of climate change. But only with dramatic, immediate climate action.”
Scientists from the World Meteorological Organization and the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service described July’s conditions as “rather remarkable and unprecedented”.
The data collected across the month showed July has recorded the hottest three-week period ever on record and the three hottest days on record.
“This anomaly is so large with respect to other record-breaking months in our record that we are virtually certain that the month, the month as a whole will become the warmest July on record, the warmest month on record, in all likelihood.”
Mr Guterres said global leaders “must step up for climate action and climate justice”, and new national emissions targets from G20 members were needed – along with all countries pushing to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
He also said actions must be made quicker to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, while stopping oil and gas expansion and phasing out coal by 2040.
Richer countries have been urged to honour their commitments to provide $100 billion annually for climate support in developing countries.
“I am concerned that only two G7 countries – Canada and Germany – have made replenishment pledges so far,” he said.
“Countries must also operationalise the loss and damage fund at COP28 this year. No more delays or excuses.”
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