Recent data indicates that 2023 is poised to become the “almost guaranteed” warmest year ever recorded, characterized by deadly heatwaves, floods, and wildfires. This projection comes in the wake of a series of exceptionally high temperatures observed throughout the year, as reported by the BBC.
In October, global average temperatures reached a significant level, exceeding the previous record set in October 2019 by 0.4 degrees Celsius.
These high temperatures were driven by both carbon emissions and the influence of the El Niño weather phenomenon, marking the fifth consecutive month of record warmth.
As 2023 progresses, there is a worrisome trend of extreme global temperatures, which is expected to continue into 2024.
This year has already witnessed an increase in days surpassing the politically significant 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold.
What does it mean for climate and humanity?
The record-breaking heat is primarily attributed to ongoing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.
In addition, the influence of the El Niño event, which releases extra heat into the atmosphere, has further intensified the rise in temperatures.
The escalation of global temperatures is not limited to scientific records but is also associated with real-world consequences.
Extreme heatwaves and droughts, exacerbated by the high temperatures, have led to human suffering, causing deaths, displacement, and livelihood losses.
The alarming rise in temperatures comes just ahead of the United Nations’ COP28 summit, which begins on November 30.
October temperature off the charts globally?
In October, temperatures significantly exceeded the average globally.
The UK experienced temperatures about 1 degree Celsius above normal, with southern England being the warmest at 1.7 degrees Celsius above average.
Italy recorded temperatures over 3 degrees Celsius higher than usual, coinciding with severe flooding in parts of the country.
El Niño-related droughts affected the Panama Canal, leading to its driest October since 1950. Parts of the Middle East faced drought conditions, while East Africa experienced deadly floods.
High temperatures have continued into November, with Japan breaking numerous heat records.
In Europe, some regions saw temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius in November, a first for this time of the year.
This particular El Niño has exhibited unusual characteristics and is contributing to the rapid temperature increase.