September 2023 was the warmest on record by a huge margin

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September 2023 was the warmest first month of spring ever recorded globally and broke the previous record by a huge margin, the European Copernicus Observatory announced today.

It found that the global temperature for January-September 2023 was 0.52 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average. It was also hotter than the first nine months of the warmest calendar year, 2016, by 0.05 C.

The global mean temperature so far this year is 1.40 C higher than the preindustrial average between 1850 and 1900.

"The sense of urgency for ambitious climate action has never been more critical," said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of C3S, pointing out that the report's release comes just two months ahead of UN climate talks in Dubai.

Scientists say climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels is making extreme weather such as heat waves and storms more intense and frequent.

What does the report say about September?

According to the the report, September 2023 was the warmest September on record. Average surface air temperature reached 16.38 degrees Celsius, which is 0.93 C above the monthly average during 1991-2020.

It is also 0.5 C warmer than the previous warmest September to date, in 2020. That month was roughly 1.75 C warmer than the September average of the preindustrial reference period.

"The unprecedented temperatures for the time of year observed in September — following a record summer — have broken records by an extraordinary amount," Burgess said.

She described the month as "extreme," crediting it for pushing 2023 "into the dubious honor of first place — on track to be the warmest year and around 1.4 C above preindustrial average temperatures."

'Wetter-than-average' September

In Europe, the month was not only the hottest on record but also one with "wetter-than-average" conditions along many parts of the continent's western seaboard, according to the report.

It cited the extreme rainfall in Greece, associated with Storm Daniel. The storm also caused devastating flooding in Libya, killing thousands and largely destroying its eastern city of Derna. Other areas affected by rain in Europe include the western Iberian Peninsula, Ireland, northern Britain, and Scandinavia.

Beyond Europe, the Latin American countries of Brazil and Chile also experienced what the report said were "extreme precipitation events," in the countries' southern regions.

The C3S is implemented by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on Behalf of the European Commission. It is funded by the EU.

The service said the findings are all based on computer-generated analyses, using measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations worldwide.

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