This week saw the hottest global temperature ever recorded, according to data from two climate tracking agencies that covers multiple decades.
On Monday, the average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 Fahrenheit), the highest in the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s data, which goes back to 1979. On Tuesday, it climbed even further, reaching 17.18 degrees Celsius and global temperature remained at this record-high on Wednesday.
The previous record of 16.92 degrees Celsius was set in August 2016.
The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service confirmed that Monday’s and Tuesday’s global temperatures were also records in its data, which dates back to 1940.
While these global temperature records are based on data sets that go back to the mid-20th century, they are almost certainly the warmest the planet has seen over a much longer time period, some scientists say, given what we know from many millennia of climate data extracted from ice cores and coral reefs.
This week’s records are probably the warmest in “at least 100,000 years,” Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center, told CNN, calling the records “a huge thing…”