2023 Was The World’s Hottest Year Ever: EU Confirms

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » 2023 Was The World’s Hottest Year Ever: EU Confirms

In a stark revelation about the escalating impact of climate change, 2023 was the world’s hottest year ever recorded. This alarming milestone is largely attributed to human-induced climate change, compounded by the natural El Niño weather phenomenon.

According to the European Union’s climate monitoring service, 2023 was the world’s hottest year, with temperatures approximately 1.48°C higher than the pre-industrial average, a period before the widespread burning of fossil fuels. This significant increase in global temperatures has been continuously recorded, with almost every day since July 2023 setting new records for global air temperatures, as per BBC’s comprehensive analysis.

Furthermore, sea surface temperatures have also reached unprecedented highs, contributing to global warming. This report comes in the wake of the UK’s Met Office declaring 2023 as the second warmest year for the country, adding to the global pattern of rising temperatures.

This escalation in global temperatures brings the world precariously close to surpassing critical international climate targets. “The margin by which 2023 has broken these records is astonishing,” commented Andrew Dessler, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University, noting the significance of these averages on a global scale.

The rapid temperature escalation was unexpected, particularly in the latter half of the year. Initially, only a few days in the early months of 2023 broke temperature records. However, an almost unbroken streak of daily records began in the second half of the year, with more than 200 days setting new benchmarks for daily global temperatures, as per data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service analyzed by the BBC.

2023 Was The World's Hottest Year Ever: EU Confirms

The sudden temperature increase is closely linked to the swift transition to El Niño conditions, a natural event characterized by warmer surface waters in the East Pacific Ocean releasing additional heat into the atmosphere. This phenomenon atop the long-term warming trend caused by human activities resulted in higher air temperatures earlier than anticipated. The full impact of this El Niño phase was not expected until early 2024.

The widespread warming in 2023 was notable, with almost the globe experiencing temperatures above the recent 1991-2020 levels. This global warmth exacerbated numerous extreme weather events, including intense heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, and flooding in various parts of the world.

The implications of this record-breaking warmth are profound. Antarctic sea ice hit alarmingly low levels, and glaciers in western North America and the European Alps experienced significant melting, contributing to sea-level rise. Moreover, the world’s sea surface temperature soared to its highest, with a continuous streak of record-breaking days starting from May 4, 2023.

Looking ahead, 2024 could be even warmer than 2023, possibly surpassing the critical 1.5°C warming threshold for the entire calendar year, a scenario outlined by the UK Met Office. Nearly 200 countries had agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement to try to limit warming to this level to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

This recent temperature surge underscores the urgency of addressing the primary cause of rising temperatures – fossil fuel emissions. Despite its limitations, the COP28 climate summit’s agreement marks a step forward in acknowledging the need to tackle fossil fuel use. It is a call to action to accelerate progress in renewable power and electric vehicles, crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Every tenth of a degree matters,” emphasizes Dr Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at Imperial College London, highlighting the critical need for continued efforts to limit global warming, even as the 1.5°C target appears increasingly challenging.

Also Read: Study Reveals Microplastic In Antarctica’s Penguin Droppings & Water

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