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2023 saw hottest average summer temperatures ever recorded, NASA says

A youngster cools off at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., in July. NASA said Thursday that this year's summer was Earth's hottest season ever recorded. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
A youngster cools off at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., in July. NASA said Thursday that this year's summer was Earth's hottest season ever recorded. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Sept. 14 (UPI) -- NASA said Thursday that summer 2023 was Earth's hottest season ever recorded, based on records going back to 1880.

The summer temperatures this year averaged 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the summers between 1951 and 1980.

Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York found that the months of June, July and August combined were an average of 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than any other summer in NASA's record.

"Summer 2023's record-setting temperatures aren't just a set of numbers -- they result in dire real-world consequences. From sweltering temperatures in Arizona and across the country, to wildfires across Canada, and extreme flooding in Europe and Asia, extreme weather is threatening lives and livelihoods around the world," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement.

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Nelson said these effects of climate change being seen now are a threat to Earth and future generations.

NASA said Thursday that summer 2023 was the hottest ever recorded on Earth, based on records dating back to 1880. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said these impacts of climate change the world is witnessing are a threat to Earth and future generations. Image courtesy of NASA
NASA said Thursday that summer 2023 was the hottest ever recorded on Earth, based on records dating back to 1880. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said these impacts of climate change the world is witnessing are a threat to Earth and future generations. Image courtesy of NASA

Those effects include exceptionally strong heat waves throughout much of the world this summer that included intense heat waves in the United States, South America, Europe and Japan. Deadly wildfires in Canada and Hawaii, as well as extremely heavy rainfall in Italy, Greece and Central Europe, also can be counted among climate change impacts, the researchers said.

To measure surface air temperature, NASA uses data acquired by tens of thousands of meteorological stations as well as sea surface temperature data from ship and buoy-based instruments.

A cyclist pedals through splashing waters from an opened fire hydrant as dangerously hot weather affected the Queens borough of New York City in July. The financial cost of climate disasters in the United States over the past forty years is more than $2.6 trillion, according to a recent report. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A cyclist pedals through splashing waters from an opened fire hydrant as dangerously hot weather affected the Queens borough of New York City in July. The financial cost of climate disasters in the United States over the past forty years is more than $2.6 trillion, according to a recent report. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Ocean temperatures around Florida soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit this summer. In August, the Mediterranean hit a record-breaking 84 degrees, according to Jordan's government.

A Jordanian government report said, "Climate change has led to higher air temperatures in the Mediterranean, which raises water surface temperatures and evaporation."

The sun sets behind the Manhattan skyline earlier this month. NASA said Thursday that summer 2023 was Earth's hottest season ever recorded, based on records going back to 1880. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The sun sets behind the Manhattan skyline earlier this month. NASA said Thursday that summer 2023 was Earth's hottest season ever recorded, based on records going back to 1880. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The financial cost of climate disasters in the United States over the past forty years is more than $2.6 trillion, according to a report released this week by a subsidiary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 2023 alone, there were 23 confirmed U.S. climate disasters with 253 people killed, costing more than a billion dollars for each disaster.

The NASA data is in line with the EU's climate study earlier this month, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service that found July was the hottest month in history, followed by the warmest August ever documented.

"The science is clear this isn't normal," said NASA's GISS Director Gavin Schmidt in August. "Alarming warming around the world is driven primarily by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. And that rise in average temperature is fueling dangerous extreme heat that people are experiencing here at home and worldwide."