UW weather specialist says 'astronomical' rise in temperatures a cause for concern

According to the E.D. Soulis Memorial Weather Station at the University of Waterloo, daytime highs in Waterloo region for the month of May averaged around 21.8 C, with the highest marked at 30.3 C. (CBC - image credit)
According to the E.D. Soulis Memorial Weather Station at the University of Waterloo, daytime highs in Waterloo region for the month of May averaged around 21.8 C, with the highest marked at 30.3 C. (CBC - image credit)

A weather specialist based in Waterloo region says rising global temperatures continue to be a source of concern for meteorologists.

According to the E.D. Soulis Memorial Weather Station at the University of Waterloo, daytime highs for the month of May averaged around 21.8 C, with the highest marked at 30.3 C for the region.

The lowest temperature recorded in May was 3 C, tying a record set in 1975 for the highest low temperature in May.

Frank Seglenieks, coordinator at the station, said meteorologists have been "a bit concerned for a while," and are "even more concerned" now because of the temperatures being recorded.

He pointed to a "jump in [temperatures in] the past eight to 12 months," adding that "it's just astronomical how much it's gone up."

"Has something flipped in the past year that now we're into this new regime where … temperatures are much higher than we've seen for the past 30 years?"

This year the world experienced its hottest January on record. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) also reported in January that the global temperature pushed past the internationally agreed upon warming threshold for an entire 12-month period, with February 2023 to January 2024, running 1.52 C.

Countries agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement to try to prevent global warming surpassing 1.5 C, to avoid it unleashing more severe and irreversible consequences.

Seglenieks said May in Waterloo region saw temperatures averaging nearly 2.4 C above the long-term norm.

"We've had six months in a row where it's been above average and only like one month in the past year has it been below average," he said.

"So, we're really seeing that global pattern that people have heard about … really warm temperatures over 2023. We didn't see it so much in 2023, but now we're really starting to see it locally."