Comment on Copernicus climate records for July 2023

Global air and ocean temperatures reach new record highs in July 2023, says Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on confirmation from the Copernicus Climate Change Service that July 2023 saw a number of climate records broken [1], Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “As polls continue to show strong public support for the UK’s net zero target, and high levels of concern about the threat climate change poses, Planet Earth keeps very starkly setting out the context for the threat.

“July was the hottest month modern humans have ever experienced at nearly 1.5°C on average above pre-industrial times. It was also one of the wettest months, in parts of Europe, as Southern Europe, North Africa and the US continue to experience dangerous temperatures in the 40s. Chile - in the middle of winter - hits the high 30s, as Antarctica is seeing stark extremes with the lowest ever levels of sea ice.

“Just because it’s cool and rainy in the UK right now doesn’t mean we’re somehow escaping all this. We import half our food - half of that comes from parts of the world most vulnerable to climate-driven extremes. Shortages and price-rises in staple foods will only make the cost-of-living crisis worse - hitting, as climate impacts do everywhere in the world, the poorest hardest.”


Notes to editors:

  1. Global air and ocean temperatures reach new record highs: The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said that the global average temperature for July 2023 was the highest on record for any month. The group also said that global average sea surface temperatures reached record high levels; that Antarctic sea ice extent was the lowest July extent since satellite observations began; and that the month was wetter than average over most of northern Europe and in a region from the Black Sea and Ukraine to north-western Russia.

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George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: