The director of the European Union’s Copernicus climate change service has said that at least 65 countries recorded their warmest Septembers on record, a fact that has come as a shock.
“The truth is that I think many climate scientists were absolutely flabbergasted by the plot,” he said of September’s worldwide temperature reading as Copernicus released its monthly global climate report.
“This is just beyond anything we’ve ever seen. The anomaly is so
September’s sudden spike to 1.7 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial global temperature for the month is so far above the trend of rising temperatures and previous records for the month that Buontempo expressed concern that it could indicate a more rapid shift of the climate system to a warmer state.
“I’m not saying that has happened, but I’m saying it is an indication of a process that may not actually be linear at all,” he said.
Many climate scientists say they don’t know exactly why Earth’s fever suddenly spiked so high in September, and there “may never be a clear attribution” to a specific cause, added Gavin Schmidy, director of NASA’s Godard Institute for Space Studies. Most likely, it’s a combination of factors, he said, a climate recipe with “a little bit of everything combining in ways we haven’t seen before.”
Experts have suggested that September’s stunning rise of the average global temperature is all but certain to make 2023 the warmest year on record, and 2024 is likely to be even hotter, edging close to the “red line” of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above the pre-industrial level that the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is seeking to avoid.
As of 10 October, the daily average Northern Hemisphere temperature had been at a record high for 100 consecutive days.
Possible explanations for the temperature surge range from the shift to the warm, El Niño phase in a Pacific ocean cycle, to a continued drop in the concentration of tiny sulfur-based particles of pollution called aerosols.