The Climate Breakdown has Begun • Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to news sources, in August we just hit 1.5C warmer than pre-industrial. Hands up who wants to surrender their automobile?

UN announces ‘climate breakdown’ after record summer heat

Scientists blame ever warming human-caused climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

6 Sep 2023

“Climate breakdown has begun”, the United Nations chief has warned as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that the world went through its hottest Northern Hemisphere summer on record.

The WMO, citing data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said on Wednesday that last month was the the hottest August on record “by a large margin” and the second hottest ever month after July 2023.

August is estimated to have been about 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the pre-industrial average. It also saw the highest global monthly average sea surface temperature on record, nearly 21C (69.8F).

Read more:

The full UN statement;



Climate Breakdown Has Begun with Hottest Summer on Record, Secretary-General Warns, Calling on Leaders to ‘Turn Up the Heat Now’ for Climate Solutions

The following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:

The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting.

Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record.  Climate breakdown has begun.

Scientists have long warned what our fossil fuel addiction will unleash.  Our climate is imploding faster than we can cope with extreme weather events hitting every corner of the planet.

Surging temperatures demand a surge in action.  Leaders must turn up the heat now for climate solutions.  We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos — and we don’t have a moment to lose.


Strangely the UN statement did not include a pledge by all climate concerned VIPs to give up their private jets.

As I sit comfortably in a comfortable subtropical house, filled with the wonders of fossil fuel technology, including the computer I’m typing on right now, I see no climate breakdown. Nor am I likely to see such a breakdown.

Global warming is no threat to a tropical species like us humans. Last time the world was really hot, The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, 5-8C hotter than today, the species which did really well was monkeys. Our monkey ancestors colonised much of Eurasia and North America, feasting on the abundance which the PETM warmth delivered. The monkeys passed through the warm temperate forests of Greenland on their journey. Our monkey ancestors only retreated when the warm age ended, because they were driven out of their new homes by the encroaching cold.

My point is if, and this is a big if, significant warming occurs on top of the “climate breakdown” we are allegedly experiencing today, we’ll continue to thrive, just like our SUV driving monkey ancestors thrived in the warmth of the PETM, 55 million years ago.


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