This year is set to become the hottest in recorded history, with November marking the sixth consecutive record-breaking month, according to Europe’s climate monitor.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service of the European Union reported that November surpassed the previous record for the month, pushing the global average temperature for 2023 to 1.46 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This confirmation comes after warnings throughout the year that 2023 might surpass 2016 as the hottest year, with record-breaking temperatures in September and October.
November also witnessed two days exceeding 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a previously unprecedented occurrence.
Samantha Burgess, deputy head of the Copernicus service, emphasized that 2023 has experienced “six record-breaking months and two record-breaking seasons.”
The exceptional global temperatures in November, including the two days exceeding 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, solidify 2023 as the warmest year in recorded history.
Scientists, drawing on data from ice cores and tree rings, suggest that this year could be the warmest in over 100,000 years.
The announcement of this record-breaking year coincides with the COP28 talks in Dubai, where negotiators from nearly 200 countries are debating the final draft of an agreement in response to a critical assessment of progress in limiting global warming.
A focal point of the discussions is the fate of oil, gas, and coal, the primary drivers of human-induced climate change.
Disagreements persist on whether to “phase out” or “phase down” fossil fuels. A new proposal advocating for an “orderly and just” phase-out of fossil fuels, accommodating different timelines based on countries’ development levels and reliance on hydrocarbons, emerges as a potential consensus candidate.
However, there is also the option of no mention of fossil fuels, reflecting opposition from nations like Saudi Arabia and China.
The draft text, expected to be updated on Wednesday, will continue to be deliberated at the COP28 talks, scheduled to conclude on December 12.
Concurrently, 2023 has witnessed a series of extreme weather events linked to climate change, despite a continuous rise in carbon emissions globally.
Copernicus notes that the first 11 months of 2023 have been 0.13 degrees Celsius hotter than in 2016, the prior warmest year.
While the El Niño weather pattern has contributed to the recent rise in global temperatures, the second half of 2023 has seen fewer anomalies than in 2015-2016.
The period from September to November, constituting autumn in the northern hemisphere, has been the hottest on record, with November alone being 1.75 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels.
These figures suggest that the world is approaching the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold set in the Paris climate agreement, emphasizing the urgent need for global climate action.