Scientists predict that 2023 is on course to become the hottest year ever recorded.
Scientists have announced that the Earth will experience its highest recorded temperature in 2023, surpassing all previous years. This comes ahead of a significant climate summit scheduled for later this month.
Samantha Burgess, the deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, stated that it is highly likely that 2023 will be the hottest year ever recorded. Currently, the global temperature is 1.43 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial average. Burgess also emphasized the pressing need for immediate and ambitious climate action as we approach Cop28.
In October, the Copernicus scientists discovered that it was the warmest month on record worldwide, with temperatures 1.7C higher than the average for October in the late 1800s.
Due to the burning of fossil fuels and destruction of the environment, humans have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, resulting in a 1.2 degree Celsius increase in the planet’s temperature since the Industrial Revolution. According to scientists, the global temperature anomaly for October 2023 was the second highest recorded across all months in their data set, with the previous month being the only exception.
“The occurrence of this unprecedentedly hot year is indicative of the severe impact on humanity,” stated Friederike Otto, a climate specialist at Imperial College London. “The extreme temperatures have intensified devastating heatwaves and droughts, resulting in numerous fatalities, loss of income, displacement, and more. These are the records that hold significance.”
“The Paris agreement is considered a human rights treaty, meaning that failing to meet its goals results in a widespread violation of human rights.”
Eight years ago at a summit in Paris, global leaders made a commitment to work towards preventing the planet from warming by more than 1.5C by the end of this century. However, current policies are projected to result in a warming of approximately 2.4C.
Akshay Deoras, a meteorology research scientist at the University of Reading, said: “The sizzling October 2023 is another unfortunate example that shows how temperature records are getting shattered by a humongous margin. Global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions and El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean are hitting the planet really hard.”
Scientists were surprised by the unprecedented heat observed last month. They attribute this to a combination of factors, such as high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, the return of El Niño, and a decrease in sulphur pollution, as well as a volcanic eruption in Tonga.
According to Copernicus, El Niño conditions are still progressing, but the current temperature anomalies are not as high as those recorded during the powerful events of 1997 and 2015.
Deoras expressed concern over the significant increase in global temperature since June 2023, which surpasses that of the second half of 2015 when El Niño was at its peak. He noted that our planet is continuously reaching alarming milestones in its weather patterns, and it is likely that new records will be set in the coming months.
The World Meteorological Organization announced on Wednesday that the ongoing El Niño is predicted to continue until at least April 2024. Due to the usual delay in the impacts of an El Niño, it is highly probable that 2024 will experience even higher temperatures.
In January and October 2023, Copernicus discovered that the average global temperature was the highest ever recorded. This surpassed the 10-month average of 2016, which currently holds the record for the warmest year, by 0.1 degrees Celsius.
According to Richard Allan, a climate researcher from the University of Reading, the only way to prevent constant reports of record-breaking temperatures and reduce the severity of extreme weather events such as floods, heatwaves, and droughts is by swiftly and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors.