Countries like Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina have all recorded their highest September temperatures after months of unusually warm winter this year – but there is still no respite from the blistering heat.
Temperatures have been above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Brazil this week, when it is supposed to be the start of the spring season in the southern hemisphere.
The country also recorded its warmest winter since 1961, with cities across northern Brazil registering temperatures of over 40C in the middle of the season, according to the National Institute of Meteorology.
Bolivia recorded its all-time high September temperature of 40.3C in Magdalena on Monday, while in Peru, the town of Puerto Esperanza also saw mercury climb above 40C this weekend, just one degree less than the record. Western Paraguay’s Filadelfia city saw 44.4C (112F).
The extreme temperatures are a result of a broader pattern of heatwaves and local weather phenomena. As the Southern Hemisphere turns to summer, Australia is also baking in extreme spring temperatures, prompting wildfire alerts across the country.
Meanwhile, preliminary data from Antarctica showed the winter sea ice extent was at a record low level this year.
The summer of 2023 has already been declared the hottest on record for the northern hemisphere and the entire season was marked by extreme heat, wildfires and floods. The summer of 2023 has already been declared the hottest on record for the northern hemisphere and the entire season was marked by extreme heat, wildfires and floods.
A heat dome is also trapping hot air above South America, with both phenomena having an effect on top of the man-made climate crisis.
Forecasters said the abnormal heat is expected to continue, risking more records and wildfires.