Monday and Tuesday were hottest ever days on Earth, US data shows

For two straight days, the global average temperature has spiked into uncharted territory. Credit: AP

The average temperature across the world reached a record high of 17 degrees Celsius on Monday, according to US data.

The record was set on Monday, broken again on Tuesday and could be set again on Wednesday, University of Maine scientists said.

Climate researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe the heat is due to a combination of El Nino, a naturally occurring weather pattern that can cause some parts of North America to become warmer than usual, and the effects of climate change.

El Nino is the redistribution of heat into the central southern Pacific Ocean which in turn drives the weather patterns across the Pacific and around the globe - it occurs every two to seven years.

El Nino is the name given to the warm phase of this natural cycle compared to its counterpart La Nina - the cool phase.

Experts believe more records will be broken in the coming months as El Nino continues to strengthen.

Over the past three years, this natural event has been in the cooler phase - La Nina, helping to suppress global average temperatures. Despite this, these last years have been some of the hottest on record.

Previously, the highest average global temperature was recorded as 16.92C back in 2016.

According to University of Maine scientists, Tuesday soared another 0.17 degrees celsius hotter - which scientists described as a huge temperature jump for global averages.

The university's climate calculator has forecast a similar record territory temperature for Wednesday.

The Antarctica average was forecast to be a significant 4.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1979-2000 average.

Speaking to The NewScientist, climate scientist Robert Rohde said: “The El Niño event was officially declared by NOAA right at the start of June.

“The warming has been expanding in the Pacific and that is likely to be contributing to things [temperatures] inching up a bit higher in July than in previous months.

“We will keep passing these thresholds every few years if we have El Niño variability on top of global warming, until we get global warming under control."

Data collected by the NOAA only dates back to 1979, but Dr Rohde says he is confident that the average temperature is the highest ever seen since instrumental measurements in the 1850s.

The news follows the Met Office announcing that June was the hottest on record in the UK.

According to provisional figures, the average mean temperature of 15.8C for June 2023 in the UK is the highest in a series since 1884, with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also reporting their respective warmest June on record.

This eclipsed the previous record by 0.9C, while the previous top three Junes were separated by just 0.1C.

Provisional figures from the Met Office show that June was the hottest on record in the UK. Credit: The Met Office

The Met Office’s Mark McCarthy, who works in the team responsible for weather and climate records, said: “It’s officially the hottest June on record for the UK, for mean temperature as well as average maximum and minimum temperature.

“June started with a good deal of high pressure and temperatures initially around average for many, but once that subsided, warm, humid air began to influence temperatures, with 32.2C the highest temperatures reached.

“What’s striking is the persistent warmth for much of the month, with temperatures widely into the mid 20s Celsius for many and even into the low 30s at times.”

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