“2023” the hottest year, declares C3S
Europe’s climate monitoring body has officially declared that 2023 is set to become the hottest year on record, as highlighted by a United Nations official at the COP28 climate summit who criticized the lack of action. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that this year will globally be the warmest since record-keeping began in the mid-19th century, surpassing the previous record set in 2016. C3S emphasized that the trend is unlikely to change before the end of December, especially after November marked the sixth consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures.
Samantha Burgess, deputy head of C3S, stated, “The extraordinary global November temperatures, including two days warmer than 2C [3.6F] above pre-industrial levels, mean that 2023 is the warmest year in recorded history.” The global average temperature for November broke the previous record, pushing the overall average for 2023 to 1.46 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial era, with no recorded day exceeding 2C above pre-industrial levels before.
Just published: 2023 is the warmest year in recorded history.
2023 has now had six record breaking months and two record breaking seasons – summer and autumn.
What's next? How will the world manage climate risks from #COP28UAE onwards?
— Copernicus ECMWF (@CopernicusECMWF) December 6, 2023
Although it was anticipated that 2023 would set a record for global average temperatures, the official confirmation adds weight to earlier predictions. In mid-November, the US climate agency NOAA had indicated a 99 percent probability of 2023 being the warmest since 1850, though full commitment from relevant institutions was pending.
Fossils fuel big threat
This announcement coincides with negotiators from nearly 200 countries at the COP28 talks in Dubai working on the text of a final draft agreement addressing the slow progress in limiting global warming. The fate of oil, gas, and coal, the primary contributors to human-induced climate change, is a key point of contention. Debates in the oil-rich UAE have revolved around whether to “phase out” or “phase down” fossil fuels. A new proposal suggesting an “orderly and just” phase-out of fossil fuels could potentially offer a consensus solution, allowing countries different timelines based on their development and reliance on hydrocarbons.
However, there is also the possibility of no mention of fossil fuels in the final draft, indicating opposition from nations such as Saudi Arabia and China. Additional resistance has been observed in response to a draft paragraph urging a “rapid phase out of unabated coal power this decade,” with opposition from China, South Africa, and Vietnam.
Despite deliberations, 2023 has already witnessed numerous extreme weather events linked to climate change, underscoring the urgency for global action as carbon emissions continue to rise. Copernicus, with records dating back to 1940, reports that the first 11 months of 2023 have been 0.13C hotter than the same period in 2016, the previous warmest year.