World-record September heat has experts call "gobsmackingly bananas"
September 2023 surpasses the previous record for that month by 0.5 degrees Celsius, the largest jump in temperature ever seen.
The month of September had scientists in shock, as a new record of heat for global temperatures, with one scientist describing it as “absolutely gobsmackingly bananas”.
The hottest September came after the hottest August and the hottest July, as the extremely high temperatures have set ablaze large heat waves and wildfires across the world. September 2023 surpassed the previous record for that month by 0.5C, the largest jump in temperature ever seen.
The year 2024 may even exceed 2023 records since the heating effect of El Niño is usually felt most in the year after it begins. The Copernicus Climate Change Service has further raised concerns by predicting that 2023 is likely to be the hottest year humanity has ever experienced.
Zeke Hausfather, at the Berkeley Earth climate data project, said: “September was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist, absolutely gobsmackingly bananas”.
The first global temperature data is in for the full month of September. This month was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist – absolutely gobsmackingly bananas. JRA-55 beat the prior monthly record by over 0.5C, and was around 1.8C warmer than preindutrial levels. pic.twitter.com/mgg3rcR2xZ— Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) October 3, 2023
The record-breaking heat is attributed to the sustained release of high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, combined with the planet's largest natural climate phenomenon, El Niño. El Niño releases ocean heat, leading to elevated temperatures.
For the past three years, La Niña conditions were seen in the Pacific Ocean, decreasing global temperatures by a few tenths of a degree with more heat stored in the ocean.
Countries like France, Germany, and Poland saw record-breaking heat waves as well. The UK recorded its hottest September on record, according to the Met Office, comparing data that goes back to 1884.
Hausfather mentioned that other factors also contribute to the high heat, including an increase in the 11-year solar cycle, reductions in sun-blocking sulfur emissions from the shipping industry, and a volcanic eruption in Tonga that released a substantial amount of water vapor, which in turn traps heat.
Scientists continue to stress that climate change is the primary driver behind the increasing global temperatures. Currently, the world has experienced approximately 1.2°C of warming above pre-industrial levels, resulting in more frequent and severe extreme weather events, including heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, and storms.