Extreme heatwaves are ‘new normal’


On 24 July, 2023 Xinhua reported that since June, temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere have continued to rise, and many countries, gripped by the most intense heatwave, have issued high temperature warnings. Forecasts show that 2023 is likely to be the hottest year ever.

Xu Huaqing, Director of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said that “since 2021, the extreme disasters brought by climate change have been rampant globally, especially the extreme high temperatures and droughts that occurred globally in 2022.”

Faced with unprecedented difficulties in global climate governance, said Xu Huaqing, no country can independently address this series of challenges, nor can any country retreat to a self-isolated island. “Global action, global response, and global cooperation must be carried out” he added.

According to a new analysis reported on by Carbon Brief, the heat striking US, China and southern Europe this summer can not be considered “rare anymore” in our current climate. The World Weather Attribution service – a global network of scientists who investigate the influence of climate change on extreme weather events – found that the heatwaves in the US and Europe would have been “virtually impossible” in a world without climate change.


Extreme heatwaves are affecting countries across the globe, with 2023 now more likely than not to be the hottest year on record since the mid-1800s, according to new Carbon Brief analysis. In his latest quarterly “state of the climate” assessment, Carbon Brief’s Dr Zeke Hausfather analysed data from five research groups that document global surface temperature records to examine the pace of warming. “After a relatively cooler start to the year due to an unusual ‘triple dip’ La Niña event, the world has witnessed an increasingly strong El Niño event that contributed to record-setting temperatures in June and July,” he said.

Watch video: Record-breaking heatwaves across the Northern Hemisphere