In a recent announcement by the EU climate change service Copernicus, it has been projected that the ongoing year will go down in history as the warmest globally since the commencement of record-keeping in the mid-19th century. The organization declared on Wednesday that the likelihood of December altering this forecast is virtually non-existent. Notably, the current record for the warmest year is held by 2016.
Earlier indications had already suggested that 2023 was poised to set a new benchmark for global average temperatures. In mid-November, the US climate agency NOAA stated that there was a probability exceeding 99 percent that this year would surpass all others since 1850. However, no definitive decision has been reached by the relevant institutions as of now.
Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), emphasized in a statement that 2023 had consistently broken temperature records throughout the year, including in the month of November. She highlighted, "Exceptional global temperatures in November, with two days registering temperatures two degrees above pre-industrial levels, confirm that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record."
A spokesperson for Copernicus explained that December global average temperatures would need to be exceptionally cold for 2023 not to claim the title of the warmest year. However, this scenario is unlikely due to the ongoing influence of the El Niño climate phenomenon, which contributes to warming. The spokesperson asserted, "Hence, we can confidently state that 2023 will indeed be the warmest year on record."
As of November, global average temperatures were reported to be 1.46 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial reference period of 1850-1900, according to Copernicus. Notably, 2023 has surpassed the first eleven months of the previous record holder, 2016, by 0.13 degrees. Carlo Buontempo, Director of C3S, warned, "As long as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, similar patterns to those observed this year can be anticipated, leading to a continuous rise in temperature and the exacerbation of heatwaves and droughts."
A recent report, the Global Carbon Budget, released on Tuesday, revealed that global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, including coal, crude oil, and natural gas, are persistently rising. Projections indicate a peak in emissions in 2023 at 36.8 billion tons per year, marking a 1.1 percent increase from 2022 and a 1.4 percent rise compared to the pre-COVID year of 2019.
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