WMO: Extreme weather to become new normal

The World Meteorological Organization says extreme weather events have become the new normal, as heat waves continue sweeping large parts of the world.

July has been confirmed as the hottest month on Earth since records began in 1940, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said earlier this month.

The global average mean surface temperature was 16.95 degrees Celsius last month, surpassing the previous record of 16.63 degrees Celsius set in July 2019, the agency’s data showed.

Global average sea surface temperature continued to rise after a long period of unusually high temperatures, reaching record-high levels in July.

In July, Antarctic Sea ice area also reached its lowest level since satellite observations began.

General view of the Medano beach before the arrival of hurricane Hilary at Los Cabos resort in Baja California state, Mexico on August 18, 2023. /CFP

“Spain, including Portugal and including the Canary Islands, have obviously experienced extreme heat earlier this week. Parts of the Middle East are forecast to see temperature above 50 degrees Celsius next week. And Japan has seen an exceptional prolonged heat wave with many, many, many temperature records broken for individual stations. Wildfires, Canada’s record-breaking wild season, unfortunately continues. As of August 17, more than 600 wildfires were out of control,” said Clare Nullis, spokeswoman of the organization.

Alvaro Soto, a climate expert of the WMO, said the extreme weather events have become the new normal and they don’t come as a surprise.

“The frequency and intensity of many extremes such as heat waves and heavy precipitation have increased in recent decades with high confidence that human induced climate change is the main driver of these changes,” he said.

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