The Longer Read

The five charts alarming scientists about the climate crisis

We hear ‘the era of global warming has arrived’, but what is the data behind such proclamations? Nick Ferris takes us through some of the most alarming readings scientists have ever seen – and they’re all from this summer

Sunday 20 August 2023 09:00 BST
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<p>A wildfire burns at the Trapeza village in Achaia Peloponnese, Greece, in July 2023 – the hottest month on record </p>

A wildfire burns at the Trapeza village in Achaia Peloponnese, Greece, in July 2023 – the hottest month on record

Scientific readings on the climate crisis have gone “totally bonkers” this summer. These were the words of climate scientist Brian McNoldy, from the University of Miami, back in June. Two months later and the summer of unprecedented climate change has only continued.

“The developments in the climate since spring 2023 are unexpected and dramatic”, Bjorn Hallvard Samset, a climate scientist at Oslo-based think tank CICERO (Center for International Climate Research), tells The Independent. “We did not expect so many types of records to be broken, by such wide margins, and for such long periods of time.

“To be clear, the root cause of it all is global warming”, adds Samset. “None of these developments are surprising in themselves, in a world that is getting warmer. But what is surprising is the fact that so many things are happening at once, and so quickly.”

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