The Copernicus Climate Change Service confirmed September 2023 as the hottest month ever, marking the fourth consecutive month of extreme heat. This 0.5°C rise above the 2020 record puts 2023 on course to be the hottest year ever. Samantha Burgess of Copernicus voiced concern, calling it “unprecedented for this time of year,” prompting worries about global climate goals and more frequent extreme weather events.

In September, global temperatures surged to an average of 16.38°C (61.45°F), akin to a hot July. This was 0.93°C higher than the 1991-2020 average and a remarkable 1.75°C above pre-industrial September levels, exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. The consequences of this extreme heat were devastating, causing deadly floods in Libya, Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey, an unprecedented wildfire season in Canada, and record-breaking heatwaves in South America. Additionally, sea surface temperatures reached an unprecedented 20.92 degrees Celsius (69.66 Fahrenheit), and Antarctic sea ice hit record lows. Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather aptly described the situation as “gobsmackingly bananas,” meaning astonishingly extraordinary. With European nations still experiencing record-breaking temperatures in October, the likelihood of 2023 claiming the title of the hottest year ever recorded is increasing. This emphasizes the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels and address human-induced climate change, a pressing concern as leaders prepare for the United Nations COP28 climate summit in December.