The entire planet sweltered for the two unofficial hottest days in human record-keeping on Monday and Tuesday, according to University of Maine scientists at the Climate Reanalyzer project.
For two straight days, the global average temperature spiked into uncharted territory. After scientists talked about Monday’s dramatic heat, Tuesday soared 0.17° Celsius which is a huge temperature jump in terms of global averages and records.
The same University of Maine climate calculator — based on satellite data and computer simulations — forecasts a similar temperature for Wednesday that would be in record territory, with an Antarctica average that is a whopping 4.5° Celsius warmer than the 1979-2000 average.
High-temperature records were surpassed on July 3 and 4 in Quebec and northwestern Canada and Peru. Cities across the US from Medford, Oregon to Tampa, Florida have been hovering at all-time highs, said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Beijing reported nine straight days last week when the temperature exceeded 35° Celsius.
“The increasing heating of our planet caused by fossil fuel use is not unexpected, it was predicted already in the 19th century after all,” said climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany. “But it is dangerous for us humans and for the ecosystems we depend on. We need to stop it fast.”
The daily but preliminary and unofficial heat record comes after months of “truly unreal meteorology and climate stats for the year”, such as off-the-chart record warmth in the North Atlantic, record low sea ice in Antarctica and a rapidly strengthening El Nino, said University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Jason Furtado.
This record is not quite the type used by gold-standard climate measurement entities like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. But it is an indication that climate change is reaching uncharted territory.