UN declares first week of July world’s hottest ever

Danessa Rivera, Pia Lee Brago - The Philippine Star
UN declares first week of July world�s hottest ever
Children play as they cool off at a water fountain during a heat wave in Hong Kong on July 9, 2023.
AFP / May James

MANILA, Philippines — The first week of July was the warmest week ever recorded, according to preliminary data from the United Nations weather agency.

“The world just had the hottest week on record, according to preliminary data. It follows the hottest June on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice extent,” the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement.

WMO experts said the global sea surface temperatures reached a record high in May, June and July – and the warming El Niño weather pattern is only just getting started.

The record-breaking temperatures on land and in the ocean have potentially devastating impacts on ecosystems and the environment. They highlight the far-reaching changes taking place in Earth’s system as a result of human-induced climate change.

“The exceptional warmth in June and at the start of July occurred at the onset of the development of El Niño, which is expected to further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans and lead to more extreme temperatures and marine heatwaves,” said Prof. Christopher Hewitt, WMO director of Climate Services.

“We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024,” he said. “This is worrying news for the planet.”

Just last week, WMO announced the onset of El Niño, characterized by a warming of the Pacific Ocean. Combined with the human-induced greenhouse gas effect, the weather pattern is expected to make one of the next five years the warmest on record.

“According to various datasets from our partners in different parts of the world, the first week of July set a new record in terms of daily temperatures,” said Dr. Omar Baddour, chief of climate monitoring at WMO.

The WMO and wider scientific community, he said, are closely watching these dramatic changes in different components of the climate system and sea surface temperatures.

The Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), meanwhile, is pushing for incentivizing water conservation for government offices to encourage them to save water amid a looming El Niño-induced dry spell.

At a briefing yesterday, DENR Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science Carlos Primo David said they have opened discussions with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the possibility of granting incentives to government offices with water conservation measures.  — Romina Cabrera

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with