When June 2023, July 2023, and August 2023 all break records for the hottest of those months on record, you don’t have to be a climate scientist to figure out that the summer of 2023 was the hottest summer on record, but that’s exactly what scientists from the World Meteorological Organization and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announced Wednesday. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is driving up global temperatures. This year’s ‘meteorological summer’ (June, July, and August) were the hottest on record “by a large margin,” Copernicus said.

“2023 is the year that climate records were not just broken but smashed,” Mark Maslin, at University College London, told The Guardian. “Extreme weather events are now common and getting worse every year – this is a wake-up call to international leaders that we must rapidly reduce carbon emissions now. Let us hope this message hits home at COP28 in [the United Arab Emirates] this December and action actually happens.”

“Climate breakdown has begun,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement Wednesday. “Our climate is imploding faster than we can cope with extreme weather events hitting every corner of the planet. Surging temperatures demand a surge in action. … We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos – and we don’t have a moment to lose.” (Washington Post $, AP, The Guardian, Grist, Gizmodo, Axios, FT $, CNBC, Politico EU, FT $; Climate Signals background: Global Warming)