2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record, according to new data. The prediction comes as global average air temperatures continue to break records, with October 2023 being 0.4 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous high in October 2019. This trend, driven by carbon emissions and an El Niño weather event, marks the fifth consecutive month of record warmth. Researchers warn that extreme global temperatures are likely to persist into 2024, with no signs of a downturn.
This record-breaking year has already seen numerous heat milestones. July 2023 may have been the hottest month in 120,000 years, and September temperatures exceeded the previous record by a remarkable 0.5 degrees Celsius. October was slightly cooler than September but still broke the record for the month by an exceptional margin, with a deviation of 1.7 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial average.
The consequences of these rising temperatures extend beyond scientific implications. The record heat has resulted in extreme heatwaves, droughts, and other climate-related disasters, leading to significant human suffering. Thousands of lives have been lost, livelihoods destroyed, and communities displaced. The urgency for global action on climate change is greater than ever, as the impacts of this record-breaking year highlight the need for immediate and ambitious measures to mitigate climate change.
- Q: What is driving the heatwave?
- A: The main driver of the heatwave is ongoing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. The rise of the El Niño weather event has also contributed to the extreme temperatures.
- Q: Will the trend continue?
- A: Researchers predict that extreme global temperatures will likely continue into 2024.
- Q: What are the consequences of record-breaking temperatures?
- A: The record heat has led to increased human suffering, including heat-related deaths, displacement, and loss of livelihoods.
- Q: Why is 2023 projected to be the warmest year on record?
- A: The combination of observations from weather stations, computer models, and historical climate records suggests that 2023 may be the warmest year the planet has experienced in 125,000 years.
- Q: What is being done to address climate change?
- A: The urgency for global climate action is high, particularly as the UN’s COP28 summit approaches. This conference aims to bring countries together to discuss and implement ambitious climate measures.