Monday, July 3, marked a devastating milestone as it became the hottest day ever recorded globally, according to data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The average temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous highest recorded temperature of 16.92 degrees Celsius in August 2016.
This alarming development has raised concerns among experts and climate scientists. Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, emphasized that this is not a milestone to celebrate but rather a dire warning for people and ecosystems. She further explained that the temperatures will continue to rise due to the ongoing El Niño effect.
The impact of escalating temperatures is being felt across the world, with many Indian cities experiencing the adverse effects of constant heatwaves. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that regions in Bihar and West Bengal endured heatwaves for over 15 consecutive days in June, with temperatures consistently reaching 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. Even Antarctica, currently in its winter season, has witnessed unusually high temperatures. The Argentine Islands of the white continent’s Vernadsky Research Base in Ukraine recently broke its July temperature record with 8.7 degrees Celsius (47.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted in a March report that current efforts to address climate change are inadequate. It warned that global temperatures could rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius “in the near term.” The report stressed the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to 60% below 2019 levels by 2035. The risks associated with climate change are intensifying with each degree of warming.
The rate of temperature increase observed in recent years is deeply concerning. Despite the mounting evidence and warnings, global leaders have shown insufficient commitment to address climate change. It is high time for serious climate action to be taken at a global scale. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly emphasized the need for comprehensive climate action, stating, “Our world needs climate action on all fronts – everything, everywhere, all at once.”
The record-breaking global temperature serves as a stark reminder that urgent measures are required to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change. It is crucial for governments, organizations, and individuals to prioritize sustainable practices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and work collectively to protect our planet and future generations. The time for action is now.