Miguel Medina Agence France-Presse People installed at Place des Vosges, in Paris, in August 2023. The summer was the fourth hottest in mainland France, not far behind previous records and marked by a late heatwave out of the ordinary at the end of August.
Julien Mivielle – Agence France-Presse and Benjamin Legendre – Agence France-Presse
Endless summer? With September becoming by far the hottest ever measured in France, Germany, Poland and even Switzerland, the year 2023 continues to set records in Europe as in the rest of the world under the effect of global warming.
In France, continuing an uninterrupted series of almost two years of monthly averages above normal, September 2023 will end “between 3.5 and 3.6°C” above the 1991-2020 reference period, “ with an average temperature of around 21.5°C, announced the French meteorology and climatology service Météo-France on Friday during a press briefing.
The finding is similar for September…< /p>
– In Germany — 3.9 degrees warmer than the reference period 1961-1990, according to the national weather service DWD;
– In Poland — 3.6 °C au- above normal, according to the IMiGW institute;
– In Switzerland — 3.8°C above the 1991-2020 norm;
– And in Austria — 3, 2°C above 1991-2020 in the plains, and 4.2°C in the mountains, according to the GeoSphere Austria institute.
These observations join those of the entire planet, on the way to breaking the annual temperature record in 2023. After having already recorded the hottest quarter in history during the boreal summer (June-July-August), the world is seeing the effects of climate change caused by humanity and reinforced in recent months by the return, to above the Pacific, the cyclical El Nino phenomenon, synonymous with additional warming.
Unprecedented, the situation is accompanied by its procession of increasingly intense disasters: heatwaves, droughts, floods and fires have hit all continents over this period, in often dramatic proportions, with their cost in human lives and damage to economies and the environment.
Faced with this “relentless mechanics” of warming, we “have not yet really taken stock of the profoundly structural nature of climate change, notably the fact that until we reach carbon neutrality, heat records will go be systematically beaten week after week, month after month, year after year,” Belgian political scientist and researcher François Gemenne, author of the latest IPCC report, told AFP, two months before a UN climate conference decisive.
During this COP28, in Dubai, the theme of phasing out fossil fuels will be at the heart of tough negotiations between countries around the world, unable to date to reconcile the requirements of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming ( if possible at 1.5°C since the industrial era) and to ensure the development aspirations of all humanity.
In France, September 2023, which began with an exceptional late heatwave, will thus erase the previous records of 1949 and 1961 in the national archives which go back to 1900.
“Only two months ended with such a hot thermal anomaly: February 1990 (4.0°C) and August 2003 (3.7°C),” underlines Météo-France in its report.
This September is part of an uninterrupted series of 20 months above seasonal norms, a benchmark calculated in meteorology over the last three decades and which therefore continues to increase with the accumulation of greenhouse gases.
Now, the monthly average heat records in France have all been set in recent years, after 1990.
35°C in October?
“Climate change favors an extension of heat waves towards […] spring and around the month of September, or even early October” as predicted by climate expert modeling of the UN (IPCC), explained climatologist Christine Berne during the press briefing.
This configuration, the result of greenhouse gas emissions mainly resulting from the use of fossil fuels by humanity, this time combined with a meteorological phenomenon of hot air rising from the Sahara into Europe, as in 1949 and 1961 .
The temperatures of September 2023 are thus “slightly higher than the averages of July and August in France” over the period 1991-2020, although already marked by the effects of global warming.
The latter causes a greater rise in temperatures in Europe than globally. While the global climate is now around 1.2°C warmer than before the industrial era, the increase is estimated at 1.8°C in France.
In 2023, summer will is listed as the fourth hottest in mainland France, not far behind previous records and marked by an unusual late heatwave at the end of August.
September then began with an extremely hot and late sequence of 3 to 11, regularly exceeding 35-37°C in some areas. And the month of October will also be extraordinary: it could be 35°C on Sunday in the southwest of France.