The last three months will go down as Earth’s hottest summer on record, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization. It was the hottest August on record by a wide margin, and the second hottest month ever, second only to July 2023. 

What You Need To Know

  • It was Earth’s hottest summer (June-Aug.) on record

  • July 2023 was the hottest month on record

  • Sea-surface temperatures are also at record highs

August was around 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial average for 1850-1900. So far, 2023 is the second warmest year on record behind 2016, which was also an El Niño year.

Not only were air temperatures record-breaking, but the WMO and European climate service Copernicus report that global sea surface temperatures were highest on record across all months.

Antarctic sea ice extent is also at a record low for this time of the year, at 12% below average. Satellites began observing Antarctic sea ice in the late 1970s.

Arctic sea ice is 10% below average, but not as low as it was in Aug. 2012. 

Our team of meteorologists dives deep into the science of weather and breaks down timely weather data and information. To view more weather and climate stories, check out our weather blogs section.


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