Muscat: This July at least equalled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history according to new data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, according to a report from the global body.
Speaking to members of the press in New York, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, "We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer.
The WMO report stated that July 2019 will be around 1.2°C warmer than the pre-industrial era according to the data.
“All of this means that we are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record. This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting,” Guterres said.
“Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win,” he underlined.
According to the WMO, exceptional heat has been observed across the globe in recent week, with a string of European countries logging record highs temperatures that have caused disruption to transport and infrastructure and stress on people's health and the environment.
“July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“The extraordinary heat was accompanied by dramatic ice melt in Greenland, in the Arctic and on European glaciers. Unprecedented wildfires raged in the Arctic for the second consecutive month, devastating once pristine forests which used to absorb carbon dioxide and instead turning them into fiery sources of greenhouse gases. This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action,” Taalas said.
Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK saw new national temperature records on 25 July, as weather maps were redrawn to include – for the first time – temperatures of above 40°C. Paris recorded its hottest day on record, with a temperature of 42.6 °C at 16:32, an unprecedented value since the beginning of measurements.
“WMO expects that 2019 will be in the five top warmest years on record, and that 2015-2019 will be the warmest of any equivalent five-year period on record. Time is running out to reign in dangerous temperature increases with multiple impacts on our planet,” he said.