UN Secretary-General warns of the “era of global boiling”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the era of global warming has ended and “the era of global boiling has arrived.”

On the 27th of July 2023, the Secretary-General, who was speaking at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, highlighted the need for leaders to step up for climate action and climate justice, particularly those of G20 countries emitting 80 percent of global emissions.

July is set to be the hottest month ever recorded in human history

This speech happened against the backdrop of a month of July, when several global temperature records were broken. According to the ERA5 data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S*), a European Union-funded project, from the third to the sixth of July 2023, the daily global mean surface air temperature record was broken daily, with the sixth being the hottest day.

It is almost certain that July 2023 will be the hottest July and hottest month in the ERA5 record, having broken the record reached in the month of July 2019. “According to the data released today, July has already seen the hottest three-week period ever recorded, the three hottest days on record, and the highest-ever ocean temperatures for this time of year. The consequences are clear, and they are tragic: children swept away by monsoon rains; families running from the flames; workers collapsing in scorching heat.” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists at UN headquarters in NY.

Climate change and extreme temperature  

The extreme temperatures many parts of the world have witnessed, with the consequential increase in fire danger, are part of a broader trend of increases in global temperatures which have anthropogenic emissions-induced climate change as their leading cause. This trend is predicted to continue in this decadence, as according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is a 98 percent chance that at least one of the following five years will be the hottest on record.

“For vast parts of North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, it is a cruel summer. For the entire planet, it is a disaster. And for scientists, it is unequivocal — humans are to blame. All this is entirely consistent with predictions and repeated warnings. The only surprise is the speed of the change. Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning.” Said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres during the press conference.

Aug. 9, 2023 The sun rises in Ourense, Spain during a heatwave © Brais Lorenzo Couto/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UN Secretary-General stresses need for climate action 

Frontline communities, scientists, and activists have been working for a healthier, safer future for all through climate action. Organizing for climate action and climate action isn’t reductant, but even more necessary, and holding Global North government and corporations is critical to accelerating and ensuring a fair transition away from fossil fuels.

“The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived. The air is unbreathable. The heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil-fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable. Leaders must lead. No more hesitancy. No more excuses. No more waiting for others to move first. There is simply no more time for that.” – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

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