The year 2023 sets a new record for the hottest year in the world by a significant margin.
In 2023, there was a significant increase in the global temperature, breaking the previous record and highlighting the alarming effects of climate change compared to the past conditions in which human civilization evolved.
The Earth’s temperature rose by 1.48C in 2023 due to the widespread use of fossil fuels, which sparked the climate crisis. This increase is almost equal to the 1.5C goal established by nations in the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, the global temperature would have to remain above 1.5C for the goal to be deemed unattainable.
According to the experts of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS), there is a high probability that the global average temperature will exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold within the next year.
In 2023, the average temperature was 0.17C higher compared to the previous record year of 2016. This significant rise in climate terms was largely attributed to the ongoing high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, with additional impact from the return of the natural climate event El Niño.
The high temperatures drove heatwaves, floods and wildfires, damaging lives and livelihoods across the world. Analysis showed some extreme weather, such as heatwaves in Europe and the US, would have been virtually impossible without human-caused global heating.
According to the CCCS data, all days in 2023 were at least 1 degree Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial record from 1850-1900. Nearly half of the days were 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter and, for the first time, two days exceeded 2 degrees Celsius. The higher temperatures were most noticeable in June, and the heat in September was significantly higher than previous averages, leading one scientist to describe it as “incredibly surprising.”
Carlo Buontempo, director of CCCS, stated that the recent extreme events serve as a powerful reminder of how drastically our climate has changed from the one in which our society originated.
“The implications for the Paris agreement and all human endeavors are significant. In order to effectively address our climate risks, it is imperative that we promptly reduce carbon emissions and utilize climate information and understanding to prepare for what lies ahead.”
In recent news, scientists have stated that the Earth’s life-sustaining systems have been significantly harmed, resulting in the planet being deemed as “beyond the acceptable range for human survival”.
According to Samantha Burgess, the deputy director of CCCS, the year 2023 was unprecedented in terms of climate, with numerous records being broken. It is expected that the temperatures in 2023 will surpass those of any time within the past 100,000 years.
According to Professor Bill Collins from the University of Reading in the UK, it is surprising that 2023 has clearly broken the global temperature record. He also predicts that further global warming will lead to even wetter winters in the UK and increased flooding.
The CCCS brought attention to several noteworthy occurrences in 2023, such as major wildfires in Canada that contributed to a 30% increase in worldwide carbon emissions from fires, and unprecedented warm ocean temperatures that led to marine heatwaves in multiple areas. Additionally, Antarctic sea ice reached record-low levels, despite not showing significant effects from global warming in the past.
According to Professor Brian Hoskins from Imperial College London, the events of 2023 have provided a glimpse into the extreme weather conditions that align with the Paris targets. This should serve as a wake-up call to the majority of governments worldwide who have been too complacent in their actions.
According to Professor Daniela Schmidt from the University of Bristol, the important question is whether this new record will motivate people to take action and make significant changes in their behavior. It is crucial to make small changes now in order to reduce the rate of warming, rather than making empty promises for major changes in the distant future.
According to Professor John Marsham from the University of Leeds, it is crucial that we decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and achieve net zero in order to protect the habitable climate that we all rely on.
Numerous scientific research has demonstrated that the state of the climate is leading to heightened and more regular occurrences of extreme weather events. Although 2023 was viewed by many as a year of accelerated global warming, experts have stated that the elevated temperatures align with previous forecasts of increased carbon emissions. Nevertheless, the rapidity and severity of extreme weather effects have raised concerns among many specialists.
A distinct examination conducted by the Japanese Meteorological Agency yielded almost identical findings to Copernicus, showing that 2023 reached a record high of 1.43C above pre-industrial levels, surpassing the previous record by 0.14C.
Professor Andrew Dessler, from Texas A&M University in the United States, stated that the record set in 2023 was expected. He also mentioned that every year for the foreseeable future will likely be one of the hottest on record. As a result, 2023 will likely be considered one of the cooler years of this century. So, it should be appreciated while it lasts.