Climate experts are calling on countries to find ways to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as research indicates to September being the hottest month compared to the same month in previous years.
Data shows that September 2023 was the warmest September ever recorded, with an average surface air temperature of 16.38°C, 0.93°C above the 1991-2020 average for September and 0.5°C above the temperature of the previous warmest September, in 2020.
Commenting on data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, Professor of Hydrology at the University of Reading, Hannah Cloke, said there is a positive future, with cleaner, safer, more plentiful and secure energy supplies, distributed more equally across the world.
“We won't get there with more of the same. We need a faster shift, not in 2050 or 2030, but now, now, now,” she said.
Research scientist at the University of Reading and National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Dr Akshay Deoras, added that the sizzling September 2023 is an unfortunate example that shows how temperature records are getting shattered by a humongous margin.
“Global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions and El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean are hitting the planet really hard," he said.
Deoras added that it was frightening to see that the global temperature since June 2023 is nowhere close to that during the 2015 summer when El Niño was much stronger.
"Our planet continues to pass through unfortunate milestones in its meteorological history, and it won’t be surprising to see new records in subsequent months," Deoras said.
Closer to home, the South African Weather Services warned of a heatwave over most parts of the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga Lowveld, Limpopo, Tshwane and parts of KwaZulu-Natal, expected until Friday.
According to Professor Guy Midgley, the weather pattern, known as the El Niño effect, leads to warmer seas and it is the long-term warming due to the effect of greenhouse gases.
Speaking to SABC News, Midgley said every El Niño is different, adding that the extremely hot temperatures experienced in parts of the country are due to a shift in temperature regime.
He explained that the planet's temperature regime is shifting higher and there is a rise in atmospheric methane - a powerful greenhouse gas.
Midgley noted that the weather temperatures are also impacted by pollution.
Saws has meanwhile issued a warning of hot temperatures over eastern parts of Eastern Cape and the western parts of KwaZulu-Natal. It’s going to be hot, hot hot in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, North-West and north-eastern parts of Northern Cape until Tuesday.