Top NASA climate expert says July likely to be earth's hottest month on record
Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for space studies, has said that July is likely to be the hottest month the earth has experienced in hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
This announcement was made during a meeting at NASA's Washington headquarters, which brought together agency climate experts, NASA's administrator Bill Nelson, and senior climate adviser Kate Calvin.
As the climate crisis unfolds, a persistent heatwave has scorched parts of the US south, and extreme weather events, such as deadly floods and Canadian wildfire smoke, have underscored the urgent need for climate action.
Unprecedented changes and rising temperatures
The global temperature analysis by NASA indicated that June was the hottest month on record. Schmidt emphasised that the observed changes, while shocking, are not surprising to scientists.
Over the past four decades, temperatures have shown a continuous increase, leading to unprecedented changes worldwide, as reported by the Guardian.
2023 on track to be hottest year on record
Schmidt's calculations suggest that earth has a 50 per cent chance of setting a new temperature record in 2023, while other models project an 80 per cent chance..
Scientists anticipate that 2024 will be even hotter due to the El Niño weather pattern, which has a tendency to boost global temperatures and may peak toward the end of this year.
The last significant El Niño event from 2014 to 2016 resulted in successive global temperature records, with 2016 becoming the hottest year on record.
Climate crisis and greenhouse gas emissions
During the meeting, experts raised alarm about the changes earth is experiencing and emphasised that they are directly linked to greenhouse-gas emissions.
While not explicitly naming fossil fuels as the major source of these emissions, they stressed that human activity, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, is unequivocally responsible for the warming seen across the planet.
The consequences of this warming are being felt by people and ecosystems worldwide.
NASA's climate initiatives
NASA's agency leaders showcased various climate-focused initiatives aimed at helping governments mitigate the climate crisis and prepare for its impacts. These initiatives include the earth information centre, which provides real-time climate data from NASA's 25 satellites. Additionally, NASA is actively tracking environmental changes, air pollution, methane emissions, and tropical cyclones and hurricanes. The agency is also conducting research to reduce planet-warming pollution, such as exploring lower-carbon forms of air travel.
Challenges and funding
Despite NASA 's efforts, some right-wing lawmakers are attempting to reduce funding for climate-related projects, including those undertaken by NASA.
However, the Earth Science division director, Karen St Germain, emphasised that NASA aims not only to accelerate scientific discovery but also to ensure that new research supports climate preparedness and informs decision-making at various levels.
NASA 's goal is to provide scientific information and understanding in ways that benefit the public, ranging from individual farmers assessing their fields to global leaders making decisions that impact the entire world.