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July 2023 likely to be the warmest month on record, NASA scientist claims

He said it will be the hottest month in "hundreds, if not thousands, of years." The US space agency observed a spike in the temperature when the super El Nino event hit during the 2015-16 winter

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July 2023 likely to be the warmest month on record

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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July of 2023 is likely to become the hottest month in the world in hundreds if not thousands of years, NASA's climatologist said in a roundtable with reporters on Thursday. 

The director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Gavin Schmidt said that the world is observing unprecedented weather changes. The heatwaves in the United States, Europe and China are demolishing records “left, right and centre,” and this is not a surprise.

Schmidt further said that the world is seeing record-breaking sea surface temperatures, even beyond the tropics for many months now. The top NASA scientist believes that it is going to continue because we continue to put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

According to Gavin Schmidt, there is a 50-50 chance that 2023 will be the hottest year on record as 2024 is going to be even warmer because of the ascendant El Nino. Though other scientists have said that 2023 is the warmest day on record.

In the same briefing, NASA's chief scientist and senior climate adviser, Kate Calvin, said that June 2023 has already been the hottest June on record, and July is likely to be the hottest month overall. Kate added, “We know from science that human activity, principally greenhouse gas emissions, are unequivocally causing the warming we are seeing on our planet.”

What causes an El Nino?

El Nino is a natural climate pattern borne out of unusually warm waters in the eastern Pacific.

The El Nino forms when the trade winds blowing east to the west along the equatorial Pacific slow down or reverse as air pressure changes. Scientists are not completely sure what begins the cycle.

The US space agency observed a spike in the temperature when the super El Nino event hit during the 2015-16 winter. Another such event is currently in the works.

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First Published: Jul 21 2023 | 4:49 PM IST

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