2023 Set to Become the Warmest Year on Record

2023 Projected as Warmest Year on Record: A Climate Alert from European Union Scientists

In a critical update on the climate front, European Union scientists revealed on Wednesday that 2023 is poised to claim the title of the warmest year on record. The global mean temperature for the first 11 months has surpassed historical levels, exceeding the 1850-1900 average by a staggering 1.46°C (34.63°F). This announcement unfolds against the backdrop of intense deliberations at the COP28 summit in Dubai, where a pivotal decision looms regarding the phased reduction of CO2-emitting coal, oil, and gas—major contributors to warming emissions.

Record-Breaking Trends and COP28 Significance

The January-November temperature stands at 0.13°C higher than the same period in 2016, the current record-holder for the warmest calendar year. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) highlighted November 2023 as the warmest November ever recorded, with an average surface air temperature of 14.22°C. This figure surpasses the 1991-2020 average by 0.85°C and eclipses the prior record in 2020 by 0.32°C.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of C3S, underscored the unprecedented nature of temperature trends in 2023, noting six record-breaking months and two record-breaking seasons. The significance of November’s exceptionally high temperatures, including two days exceeding 2ºC above preindustrial levels, solidifies 2023 as the warmest year in recorded history.

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Boreal Autumn Records and Future Concerns

EU scientists further disclosed that the boreal autumn season from September to November set a global record for warmth, with an average temperature of 15.30°C, surpassing the average by 0.88°C. Expressing concern about the future trajectory, C3S Director Carlo Buontempo emphasized the inevitability of rising temperatures and associated impacts like heatwaves and droughts unless greenhouse gas concentrations are curbed.

Buontempo stressed the urgency of achieving net-zero emissions as a crucial strategy to manage climate risks. Despite ambitious climate change policies, efforts to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increases are falling behind. Scientists warn that exceeding this threshold could have severe consequences for weather patterns, health, and agriculture. The European Union, with its progressive climate change policies, targets a 55% reduction in net emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels—a crucial step toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

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