EU scientists say 2023 will be warmest year on record

2023 will be the warmest year on record, with the global mean temperature for the past 11 months hitting a new high, European Union (EU) scientists announced Wednesday.

The November report from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found the global mean temperature for January to November of this year was 1.46 degrees Celsius higher than the preindustrial average and 0.13 degrees Celsius higher than the 11-month average for 2016, the current warmest calendar year on record.

Last month also marked the warmest November on record globally and was 0.32 degrees Celsius above the temperature of the previous warmest one, which occurred in 2020. This made 2023’s September-November the warmest boreal autumn on record by a wide margin of 0.88 degrees Celsius above the average.

“2023 has now had six record breaking months and two record breaking seasons. The extraordinary global November temperatures, including two days warmer than 2ºC above preindustrial, mean that 2023 is the warmest year in recorded history,” Samantha Burgess, the deputy director for the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement.

The organization’s findings do not come as much of a surprise as they follow a series of data figures in recent months showing 2023 on track to be the hottest year recorded.

A new report from the World Meteorological Organization showed glaciers shrank more than ever from 2011 and 2020 and that the Antarctic ice sheet lost 75 percent more when compared to the previous 10 years.

Climate scientists have suggested the recent findings are a warning sign for humans, ecosystems and infrastructure.

Copernicus Director Carlo Buontempo said these temperature rises will persist if greenhouse gas concentrations do as well.

“As long as greenhouse gas concentrations keep rising we can’t expect different outcomes from those seen this year,” Buontempo said in a statement. “The temperature will keep rising and so will the impacts of heatwaves and droughts,” he said, adding that he believes reaching net zero will be “effective” in managing climate risks.

Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world set a goal to limit future warming to a threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius — 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. This benchmark, however, is for long-term temperature measures instead of a single month or year.

The findings come as talks over global warming and climate change take center stage at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Negotiations regarding phasing out fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal are still being worked through as leaders grapple with the financial hurdles associated with such plans, according to The Associated Press.

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