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expert reaction to Summer 2023: the hottest on record

A Copernicus Climate Change Service press release reports that summer 2023 has been the hottest summer recorded.


Dr Friederike Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, said:

“Breaking heat records has become the norm in 2023. Global warming continues because we have not stopped burning fossil fuels. It is that simple.

“Studies by World Weather Attribution have shown that climate change has dramatically intensified some of the most devastating weather disasters in the summer of 2023. The hot, dry and windy conditions that fuelled the wildfires in Quebec Canada were made at least twice as likely because of climate change. The extreme heatwaves that impacted Europe and North America were made 2-2.5°C hotter because of climate change.

“As long as we burn fossil fuels, these events will become more and more intense, providing ever greater barriers to adaptation.”


Prof Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, University College London, said:

“2023 is the year that climate records were not just broken but smashed.  The data compilation of European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts shows the summer of 2023 was the warmest on record and was 0.66°C above average.  With record heat-waves in Europe, America and China, record ocean temperature and extreme melting of Antarctic sea ice we are now feeling the full impacts of climate change.  Extreme weather events are now common and getting worse every year – this is a wake up call to international leaders that we must rapidly reduce carbon emissions now.  Let us hope this message hit home at COP28 in Dubai this December and action actually happens.”


Prof David Reay, Professor of Carbon Management; Executive Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, University of Edinburgh, said:

“Even those still with their heads in the sand on climate action must now be wondering why their butts are so very hot. We’ve had some many wake up calls on climate change, the declarations of emergency, and the ‘code reds’. If the upcoming COP28 climate summit doesn’t deliver drastic cuts in global fossil fuel use and emissions then we can officially call the 2020s the Age of Stupid.”



Declared interests

None to declare.


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