he weather seems a little unusual recently. It has for a while. On July 8th 2023 just before the weather got really extreme, António Guterres (Scretary General of the UN) tweeted

This week, the world broke the daily temperature record. This is yet another demonstration that climate change is out of control and one reason more for increased #ClimateAction ambition and justice.



The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated in its most recent monthly global climate report that June 2023 was the hottest month globally on record, on both land and sea.

In the first to second week of July 2023, Earth broke or equalled its record for the warmest day on four occasions. The hottest week ever recorded was between 3-10 July this year

Daily sea surface temperature records have been broken more than 100 days in a row, according to US data.

We are in uncharted territory and that is worrying news for the planet,” said Prof Christopher Hewitt, the WMO’s director of climate services. “We should not be at all surprised with the high global temperatures,” Prof Richard Betts, climate scientist at the Met Office and University of Exeter, told the BBC. “This is all a stark reminder of what we’ve known for a long time, and we will see ever-more extremes until we stop building up more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The climate crisis is intensifying heatwaves – making them more frequent and longer-lasting. “We can already see this in our observations and we know this will continue as we continue to warm the planet,” Dr Andrew King, a senior lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne says.

North America

In the USA after days of high temperatures across much of the region, more than a third of Americans were under extreme heat alerts.

The surface ocean temperature around the Florida Keys reached 38.43C. Normal water temperatures for the area at this time of year are between 23C and 31C.

Residents in California were warned desert area highs could exceed 120F (48.8C). and bush fires soon broke out.

Phoenix, Arizona which has had a two-week stretch (now 31 days) of temperatures above 110F (43C) is expecting its hottest weekend of the year. “Phoenix has always been hot,” said Michelle Litwin, the city’s heat response program manager. “But this is something else” [cf 2]. Phoenix has since broken its record, previously set in 1974, with 21 days in a row of temperatures over 110F. The previous record was 18 days in a row. People are apparently suffering severe burns from collapsing onto pavements.

The city was the first in the country to fund a dedicated heat department in 2021, which has launched dozens of programs with ambitious goals, including planting more trees, opening cooling centers and ensuring people across the region have working air-conditioning units.

Despite the work, the numbers of heat-related fatalities have swelled dramatically in recent years, culminating in a record 425 lives lost last year.

‘Hell on earth’: Phoenix’s extreme heatwave tests the limits of survival

Richer areas are cooler, and

Greenery makes a big difference in how a person fares during extreme heat. Shade can make temperatures feel up to 30 degrees cooler, according to Lora Martens, the urban tree program manager for the city’s office of heat response and mitigation. She is leading the effort to spread the shade to more exposed areas of the city, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds.


However, green cities are not normal, and across the US, more than a third of Americans were under extreme heat advisories, watches and warnings and:

The National Weather Service has warned residents to prepare for the hottest weather of the year as some areas could see temperatures as high as 120F (48.8C). Palm Springs is expected to reach 120F, Redding could rise to 113F (45C) and Fresno in California’s Central Valley is projected to peak at 109F (42.7C).

Firefighters battle California wildfires amid blistering heatwave. The Guardian 16 July

In California there are large bushfires, and there are tornadoes in Chicago and historic levels of flooding in Vermont and central Mississippi,

“Unlike Irene, which we kind of expected, this storm came out of nowhere. It seemed random. It just sort of appeared and never stopped raining,” 

‘Everything got wrecked’: Vermont city begins cleanup after devastating flood. The Guardian 13 July 2023

One week park service officials in Death Valley, warned hikers that rescue helicopters would not be able to fly to their aid during daytime due to the heat. Some commercial flights were grounded for the same reasons.

https://www.weather.gov/hazstat/ download 6 August 2023

Massive fires in Canada are supposedly the worst fires in Canada’s recorded history and:

already greater than the combined area burned in 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2022, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre…. As of Tuesday, firefighters were battling 494 blazes throughout the country, more than half of them classified as out-of-control

Canada’s wildfire carbon dioxide emissions hit record high in first six months of 2023 The Guardian 28 Jun 2023

[These Canadian] wildfires have forced more than 120,000 people from their homes and burned through more than 10m hectares (24.7m acres) – a 1,100% increase over the 10-year average. Smoke from the fires has drifted thousands of miles to choke cities across North America.

Kyler ZelenyFighting a losing battle’: waves of wildfires leave Canada’s volunteer firefighters drained. The Guardian 20 Jul 2023

Record high temperatures in Mexico put enormous pressure on the country’s power grid.

Last week’s temperatures in north-east Mexico and central Texas scored five in the Climate Shift Index, which means researchers calculate they were five or more times likelier because of climate change….

Citizens dealing with power outages are scrambling to adjust to the disruption and danger. Luis Alejandro Calderón, an American citizen who lives in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and his wife had to sleep on their balcony last Sunday because they didn’t have electricity, and the heat inside was unbearable. The power shortage lasted more than 40 hours, so they stayed in a hotel in another area the next night, and a lot of their food went bad.

“We have never had to deal with anything like this,” he said. “When there is a power cut, electricity is usually back in 15 minutes.”

Many people in Mexico without power as deadly heat leads to strain on grid The Guardian 30 Jun 2023 

Uruguay is apparently running out of water,

Canelón Grande, a vital reservoir that normally provides water to more than a million people in the country’s capital Montevideo has been reduced to a muddy field that locals are now able to cross on foot.

Another, the Paso Severino, which normally serves 60% of the country’s population with fresh water, has seen the largest decrease in water levels on record. Water levels could be depleted completely in early July, according to local media reports.

Guy Putting salt in tap water and drilling wells in parks: one country’s desperate quest to avoid running dry. CNN 26 Jun 2023

The water company is adding salt water to regular water to eke out supplies


Red weather alerts have been issued across Europe. Wildfires are raging in Croatia on the Adriatic coast, in Greece near Athens a total of 79 forest fires across the country and thousands of people evacuated on the island of Rhodes. with the fires expected to continue to blaze out of control). Other fires in Switzerland, in Navarra in Spain and near Hatay in Turkey

Research has found there were 61,672 heat-related deaths last summer, the hottest ever recorded in Europe. The mortality rate was highest in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.

‘I’ve never seen heat this bad. It’s not normal’: Italy struggles as temperature tops 40C The Guardian 15 July.

In Italy, sixteen cities have red alerts (23 a few days later) as southern Europe experiencs fierce heat and faced the possibility of record-breaking temperatures. Temperatures reached 38C and predictions say they will reach 40C or higher in central and southern regions, with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia possibly hitting a peak of 48C.

Hospitals across Italy have seen a sharp rise in the number of people seeking emergency care for heat-related illnesses as a heatwave continues to grip the country, with temperatures in Rome setting a new record.

Some hospitals reported a 20-25% increase in the numbers arriving at emergency units suffering from dehydration or other illnesses caused by overexposure to the heat.

Temperatures in Rome hit 41.8C on Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 40.7C set in June 2022. Sicily reached about 41C and there were highs of 45C in Sardinia.

Angela Giuffrida Italian hospitals report sharp rise in emergency cases as Rome hits 41.8C. The Guardian 19 Jul 2023

See also [5]

In Athens the Acropolis was shut down due to the heat, and threats to tourist health and survival

In what would be the hottest day of the year – with the mercury hitting 45C (113F) in Syntagma Square and likely reaching 48C (118F) on the rocky outcrop on which the Acropolis stands – “difficult” soon resembled a war footing at the base of Greece’s most visited monument.

Acropolis closes to protect tourists as Greece faces unprecedented heatwave. The Guardian 16 July 2023

Portugal is suffering a drought affecting 90% of the country

Middle East

In Saudi Arabia during the haj, temperatures reached 48C (118F)


In India. Delhi was flooded after the River Yamunawater levels reached their highest in 45 years, following unusually heavy rainfall. [cf 3]

In the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where landslides blocked about 700 roads, flash floods destroyed a bridge and filled streets with debris

Pakistan is flooding again. Officials in Lahore, said they received record-breaking rainfall on Wednesday, leaving almost 35% of residents without electricity and water.


In China heavy flooding has displaced thousands of people and damaged infrastructure across China. Authorities in the northern Shaanxi province reported the worst flooding in 50 years [4].  China had its highest-ever temperature of 52.2C in the remote Xinjiang township of Sanbao [5].


The Oceans around Australia were 0.5C above average in June. In July the Great Barrier Reef suffered a marine heatwave:

Dr Alex Sen Gupta, an associate professor at the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre and marine heatwave expert, said: “If you look globally, we’re seeing more marine heatwaves now than we have ever seen before.

“It’s exceptional at the moment. It’s definitely warm in the [water] north-east [of Australia]. There’s bound to be impacts to animals and plants because of these warmer temperatures.”

Readfearn Marine heatwave off north-east Australia sets off alarm over health of Great Barrier Reef. The Guardian 22 Jul 2023

Australia’s minimum temperatures near the east coast reached as much as 10C above average.

Parts of Antarctica are about 20C above average for July and during the July Winter the ice levels did not recover.

vast regions of the Antarctic coastline were ice free for the first time in the observational record.”So it’s five standard deviations beyond the mean. Which means that if nothing had changed, we’d expect to see a winter like this about once every 7.5 million years”

Alvaro Antarctic sea ice levels dive in ‘five-sigma event’, as experts flag worsening consequences for planet ABC 24/07/2023

“There’s a sense that something weird is going on. It’s [the ice is dropping way below anything we have seen in our record,” says Dr Walt Meier, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado.

Graham Readfearn ‘Something weird is going on’: search for answers as Antarctic sea ice stays at historic lows. The Guardian 29 July 2023


In the US the response has been to harrass news people who point out the connection between weather and climate change, plus Republicans are trying to cut back spending on climate change. In Texas the Governor approved a law to eliminate rules which gave water breaks to construction workers. And Texas electricity supplies were collapsing due to demand, probably for air conditioning.

Oil Companies have decided its not as important to roll back emissions than it is to make profits.

BP has scaled back its goal of lowering its emissions by 35% by 2030, saying it will aim for a 20 to 30% cut instead.

ExxonMobil has  withdrawn funding for its efforts to use algae to create low-carbon fuel. Its CEO, Darren Woods, told an industry conference last month that the company plans to double the oil production from its US shale holdings in five years.

 Shell announced that it would not increase its investments in renewable energy this year, and has said that it has cut oil production by by selling off some operations to another oil company which might reduce its emissions, but does not reduce emissions in general. Wael Sawan, Shell’s CEO, said curbing oil and gas production would be “dangerous and irresponsible”.

TotalEnergies CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, told CNBC that his company will continue to pour the majority of its investments into fossil fuels. “Today, our society requires oil and gas,” he said. “There is no way to think that overnight we can just eliminate all that.”

In Europe

The German public is fretting over the phaseout of gas boilers, while the car industry has successfully squeezed in a loophole for synthetic fuels to lengthen the lifespan of conventional combustion engines, which are meant to be phased out across the EU by 2035. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, have both publicly called for a “pause” in the EU’s green legislative agenda, while Poland is fighting for exemptions to sustain its coal subsidies. In the European parliament, conservatives and centre-right MEPs are putting spokes in the wheels of the nature conservation law, the biodiversity part of the EU’s green deal.

Tocci After two years of real progress on climate, a European ‘greenlash’ is brewing The Guardian 12 July 2023

In the UK, the Conservatives appear to be arguing that:

green policies are very unpopular when there’s a direct cost to people – as indeed all the polling says. This time that hit Labour. But soon it could be us unless we rethink heat pumps and the 2030 electric car deadline.

David Frost Twitter 21 July 2023

high-cost green policies are not popular” and “if people think that you are treating the cause of the environment as a religious crusade, in which you’re dividing the world into goodies and baddies, then you alienate the support that you need for thoughtful environmentalism.” and accusing the Labour party of being “the political wing of Just Stop Oil

A few days later the UK announced more than a one hundred new drilling licenses for the North Sea “maxing out our oil and gas reserves”. “The prime minister is firmly of the belief that we should use the resources that we have here at home, first and foremost.” PM Sunak said it was “entirely consistent with our plan to get to net zero.”

Sunak also announced fresh support for two carbon capture and storage (CCS) clusters in Scotland and northern England.

The plans were welcomed by energy companies, including Shell and Harbour Energy, who are among the partners in the Acorn CCS project which will gain so-called Track 2 status and can now enter into commercial negotiations with the government.

Britain aims to use CCS technology, which involves capturing planet-warming carbon from industrial smokestacks before it hits the atmosphere and storing it underground, to hold 20 million to 30 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

There is no large-scale or commercial CCS project operating in Britain currently, and the government has faced criticism for slow progress on its deployment.

Sharon Kimathi Sustainable Switch Reuters ND but before 7/08/2023

The G20 who produce more than three-quarters of global emission met in India in late july 2023, and where unable to agree on targets of $100bn (£78bn)a year for climate action in developing economies from 2020-25, curbing “unabated” use of fossil fuels and the intention of tripling of renewable energy capacities by 2030.  Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, and South Africa all opposed the plan to triple renewables capacity.


Things progress as normal:

companies are still developing, and governments are still approving, new mines and fields. In fact, 40% of the 425 ‘carbon bombs’ have not yet started production. While coal may be considered to be on the way out, there are more coal mines than oil and gas projects on the list of all carbon bombs (230 and 195 respectively) and on the list of bombs still being developed (93 and 76)….

The emissions potential of the 425 carbon bombs is roughly double the remaining carbon budget for staying under 1.5oC. 

Sainsbury Carbon bombs will explode all hopes of 1.5 Jul 23, 2023

An El Nino is settling in. This is likely to boost temperature rises

James Hansen states, this:

may set new global temperature records continually during the next 12 months. It seems that we are headed into a new frontier of global climate.

The Climate Dice are Loaded. Now, a New Frontier?

We have to begin to move against Fossil Fuel Companies, and the system they and their supporters promote, that is literally destroying our ability to flourish.