NASA registers summer 2023 as hottest on record
The summer of 2023 was Earth's hottest since global records began in 1880, NASA announced on Thursday.
The months of June, July, and August combined were 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit (0.23 degrees Celsius) warmer than any other summer in NASA's record, and 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.2 Celsius) warmer than the average summer between 1951 and 1980, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York.
NASA assembles its temperature record from surface air temperature data acquired by tens of thousands of meteorological stations, as well as sea surface temperature data from ship- and buoy-based instruments.
The new record comes as exceptional heat swept across much of the world, exacerbating deadly wildfires in Canada and Hawaii, and searing heat waves in vast regions in the world.
"Exceptionally high sea surface temperatures, fueled in part by the return of El Nino, were largely responsible for the summer's record warmth," said Josh Willis, climate scientist and oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
El Nino is a natural climate phenomenon characterized by warmer than normal sea surface temperatures and higher sea levels in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
The record-setting summer of 2023 continues a long-term trend of warming, said NASA.