“Global Boiling”: UN Chief warns as July Poised for Hottest Month

UN chief calls for credible climate action on global boiling, convenes summit

In a dire warning, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared that the era of global warming has come to an end, giving way to the ominous era of “global boiling.” The announcement comes as scientists confirm that July is on track to be the world’s hottest month ever recorded.

During a press conference, Guterres emphasized the urgency of addressing climate change, describing it as a terrifying reality that humanity must confront. He stressed the critical need for immediate and dramatic climate action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avert the worst consequences of climate change.

The heat records, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation program, are attributed to the burning of fossil fuels, exacerbating violent weather events.

“The entire planet is experiencing a disaster,” Guterres stated, making it unequivocally clear that humans are to blame for the worsening situation. He also called on world leaders to take decisive action, as the air becomes unbreathable and the heat unbearable.

depiction of heat/fire

July in 2023 has been the warmest on record

July 2023 has proven to be the warmest on record, with temperatures shattering previous highs. Scientists predict that this month will beat the previous record from 2019 by approximately 0.2°C to 0.3°C and hence the “global boiling” comment.

The impact of greenhouse gas pollution has been devastating, driving deadly heatwaves on three continents. A rapid analysis from the World Weather Attribution network revealed that humans contributed to making the heatwaves in southern Europe, North America, and China 2.5°C, 2°C, and 1°C hotter, respectively. These extreme weather events are causing havoc worldwide, particularly in poorer countries that bear the brunt of emissions despite contributing the least to the crisis.

World leaders will convene in the United Arab Emirates in November to discuss strategies to combat climate change, adapt to more extreme weather, and fund mitigation efforts. As the Cop28 summit approaches, calls for phasing down fossil fuels and transitioning to cleaner energy sources have become more urgent.

The road to net-zero emissions requires immediate action and cooperation among nations. The International Energy Agency emphasized that no new oil and gasfields should have been approved for development from 2021, yet some countries have granted licenses for further drilling.

“We have data showing how the very foundations of health are being undermined by climate change,” said Marina Romanello, a climate and health researcher at University College London. Despite the challenges, there is still time to act and secure a livable future for future generations. The message is clear: the time to act is now.