May 22, 2024

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The planet’s surface experienced three of its hottest days on record this week

The planet’s surface experienced three of its hottest days on record this week

Planet Earth’s surface experienced three of its hottest days on record this week. Since spring, the oceans have consistently reached new temperature peaks. Also, at the beginning of the austral winter, the ice around Antarctica freezes unusually little. Here is inventory on maps and charts.


The planet’s average temperature rose to 17.18°C on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is an achievement since the beginning of satellite measurements in 1979. On Monday, the planet’s average mercury rose to 17.01°C, a new high. The previous daily record was 16.92 degrees Celsius last summer.

Officially, Earth has had its hottest days for 44 years. However, such temperatures are unheard of for tens of thousands of years.

To know the temperature before XIXe century, scientists had to rely on tree rings and glacier samples. “This data tells us that Earth It hasn’t been this hot for at least 125,000 yearsDuring the Last Ice Age”, explained this week The Washington Post Paolo Seppi, a climatologist at the Grantham Institute in London.

This graph represents Earth’s temperature on Wednesday, July 5. Values ​​were established using meteorological instruments from ground stations, weather balloons and satellites. The collected data is then combined using the US Government Climate Model.

The current record temperatures are the result of global warming, which continues to worsen greenhouse gas emissions, but El Niño, which is making a strong comeback this year.

During episodes of El Niño, a natural and recurring phenomenon, the deep waters of the oceans absorb less heat from the atmosphere. So the air heats up by a few hundred degrees Celsius.

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This graph shows the temperature anomaly for Wednesday, July 5. This is the difference for the same day of the year relative to the average calculated from 1979 to 2000.

Abnormally high temperatures are measured in Antarctica (this is the Australian winter) and Russia, but also in Quebec. Gujuac was the hottest place in Canada on Tuesday. The mercury reached 34.1°C there. This is a new absolute record in this small town in northern Quebec.

On Thursday, the European Climate Agency published Copernicus His report for the month of June. “Much of Canada experienced above-average temperatures, and northern Ontario and northern Quebec were particularly hard hit,” he notes. This weather created favorable conditions for the most destructive wildfires in at least 100 years.


The oceans are not spared either. Since spring, their average surface temperature has reached new daily records for the period in which satellite records exist, i.e. since 1981. According to the British Met Office (Met Office), April and May are the warmest months for seas At least since 1850. Global warming and El Niño are to blame, but so are some natural variations.

The heat is particularly intense in the North Atlantic region. Albert Klein Tank, director of the Met Office’s Hadley Center, said in a statement that it could be due to weaker winds carrying less dust from the Sahara over the ocean. “Generally, [cette poussière] It helps cool the region by intercepting and reflecting some of the sun’s energy,” he said.

Due to warming oceans, many species of fish are no longer suitable for their current environment. Hot water affects their metabolism and reduces the availability of oxygen in the water. In addition, warming of surface water encourages nutrient uptake. Other species, such as coral reefs, are severely affected by ocean heat waves, which are becoming more frequent, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Sea ice around the Antarctic continent is also reaching tragic records. Sea ice – ice that floats on water, not ice that rests on land – is growing unusually slowly at the start of the Australian winter. It has about 10% less area than the same time last year. The 2022 season is the least since 1978.

The current situation may worsen Interaction with the atmosphere and oceanPrinceton University climatologist Zach Labe explained USA Today. For example, winds from storms and warm water from the Southern Ocean can reduce sea ice formation. In the background, rising global atmospheric temperatures exert increasing pressure.

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