An anonymous reader quoted from an Associated Press report: On Tuesday, the planet’s temperature increased to hers. The hottest day in decades and possibly centuries, and Wednesday may be the third straight day Earth broke the unofficial high record. It’s the latest in a series of climate change extremes that alarm but don’t surprise scientists. According to the University of Maine, the global average temperature has reached 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit (17.18 degrees Celsius). Climate ReanalyzerIt is based on satellite data, observations and computer simulations and is a common tool used by climate scientists to visualize global conditions. On Monday, the average temperature was 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (17.01 degrees Celsius), a record that lasted only 24 hours.
University of Maine climate scientist Sian Birkley, creator of the Climate Reanalyzer, said the daily figures are irregular but provide an important snapshot of what’s happening in a warming world. Think of it as the temperature of a sick person, it tells you that something might be wrong, but to make a complete picture as a doctor, you need long-term records. Sarah Kapnick, chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that while the figure is not an official government record, “this is indicative of where we are now.” And NOAA has indicated that it will factor the figures into the official record calculations.
Although the dataset used for the official record is Although it only went back to 1979, Kapnick said, taking other data into account, the world is probably seeing its hottest day “in centuries.” Scientists generally use very long timescales — months, years, decades — to track Earth’s temperature. But the daily highs are an indication that climate change is reaching uncharted territory.