2023 Smashes Temperature Records Amid Accelerating Climate Change
Initial climate data reports that 2023 was the hottest calendar year globally since instrumental records began in 1850. This confirms scientific warnings that climate change continues rapidly intensifying with each passing year.
New Annual Heat Milestones
According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, 2023 saw average worldwide temperatures rise 1.48°C over pre-industrial 1850-1900 levels – edging out 2016 for the warmest year designation.
The year also witnessed other alarming firsts, like every single day surpassing 1°C above mid-19th century and around half going past 1.5°C warming – thresholds enshrined by the Paris Agreement.
These soaring temperatures exacerbated disasters across the planet in 2023, including unprecedented heat waves, widespread drought and wildfires like Canada’s most destructive season burning 26 million hectares.
Meanwhile, greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane reached new record atmospheric concentrations last year – the root driver of observed warming.
Why So Hot?
While part of 2023’s extreme heat related to the first El Niño event in seven years beginning mid-year, scientists emphasize the overriding factor remains accumulating emissions from human fossil fuel combustion.
The last eight years rank as the eight hottest on modern record as rapidly increasing radiative forcing from more greenhouse gases traps extra solar energy. Until net global emissions reach zero, temperatures will continue spiraling upward.
Some climate researchers suggest 2024 could surpass even 2023’s alarming new heat marks with the El Niño still ongoing, increasing the odds of shattering symbolic climate milestones.
There is now a two-thirds chance that annual average global temperature will breach the Paris 1.5°C limit for the first time within the next five years – unleashing substantially worse climate change impacts.
To prevent this, deep emissions cuts reversing the current trajectory remain imperative. But hopes diminish with each year of continually escalating temperatures across land, sea and sky – 2023’s record dry season now etched as the latest warning sign amid atmospheric change unparalleled in human history.
Category: Environment Current Affairs