Newsletter Issue 35 (September 2023)

The weather of August 2023 – The hottest August

Mainly attributing to the warmer than normal sea surface temperature over the northern part of the South China Sea and a stronger than usual southwesterly flow in the lower atmosphere over the south China coast, August 2023 was much hotter than usual in Hong Kong. Together with the exceptionally hot weather in June and July, Hong Kong experienced the hottest summer on record from June to August 2023 with a record-breaking high mean temperature of 29.7 degrees.

Extreme weather is the “new norm”

From mountain tops to ocean depths, the summer of extremes continues. Heatwaves are baking large parts of the northern hemisphere, fuelling unprecedented wildfires and disrupting marine ecosystems. Floods have transformed desert landscapes. The high-impact weather in August follows the hottest ever month on record in July. “This is the new normal and does not come as a surprise … There is high confidence that human induced climate change from greenhouse emissions, is the main driver. ,” said Alvaro Silva, a climate expert with WMO.

Record high global seas surface temperatures continue in August

Global average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have been consistently high over the past five months, and remained at record high levels for the time of year throughout April, May, June and July 2023. This situation has continued into August, which saw both the highest daily global SST in the ERA5 record and the highest monthly average global SST. As well as daily SSTs remaining consistently above average, last month saw the largest SST anomaly by far for any August in the dataset, at 0.55°C.

Windows to reach climate goals ‘rapidly closing’

The world is not on track to meet the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement for limiting global temperature rise, according to a new report from the UN Framework for Climate Change. The report summarizes 17 key findings from technical deliberations in 2022 and 2023 on the implementation status of the Paris Agreement on climate change and its long-term goals, based on the best scientific information. Simon Stiell, UNFCCC Executive Secretary called for “greater ambition and accelerating action”.

Climate change: UN calls for radical changes to stem warming

Tackling climate change needs a rapid transformation of the way our world works, travels, eats and uses energy, according to an important UN review. This is the first “global stocktake” to examine the efforts of countries to reduce planet-warming emissions since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015. The report calls for “radical decarbonisation” with a fast phase out of fossil fuels without carbon capture.



Latest trends in atmospheric greenhouse gases by NOAA

The Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases (CCGG) research area operates the Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, measuring the atmospheric distribution and trends of the three main long-term drivers of climate change, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as carbon monoxide (CO) which is an important indicator of air pollution.

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