2023 Smashes Record for World's Hottest Year by Huge Margin

The year 2023 broke the record for the hottest year ever recorded by a large margin, highlighting the urgent need for a rapid reduction in fossil fuel burning to combat the climate crisis.


2023 Breaks Record for Hottest Year

2023 witnessed a temperature increase of 1.48C compared to the pre-fossil fuel burning period, demonstrating the significant impact of climate change on the planet. This temperature increase is very close to the 1.5C target set in the Paris Agreement, signaling a need for immediate action.

Scientists from the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS) predict that the 1.5C mark will likely be surpassed within the next 12 months, leading to greater climate damage and potential consequences.

The year 2023 was also marked as the hottest year on record, with the average global temperature being 0.17C higher than in 2016, the previous record year. This substantial increase in temperature was primarily driven by record levels of carbon dioxide emissions and the influence of the El Niño climate phenomenon.

Extreme Weather and Climate Impact

The high temperatures experienced in 2023 resulted in devastating heatwaves, floods, and wildfires around the world. Scientific analysis suggests that some of these extreme weather events, such as the heatwaves in Europe and the US, would not have been possible without the human-induced global heating.

The CCCS data also revealed that 2023 marked the first year in recorded history where every day experienced temperatures at least 1C warmer than the pre-industrial average. Nearly half of the days were 1.5C hotter, and for the first time, two days surpassed a 2C increase. The heat became particularly significant in September, with temperatures far exceeding previous averages.

Carlo Buontempo, director of the CCCS, emphasized the profound consequences of these extreme temperature changes and their impact on the Paris Agreement and global efforts to address climate change. Urgent decarbonization of the economy, alongside the use of climate data and knowledge, is necessary for effective climate risk management.

Call for Immediate Action

Scientists warn that the Earth's life support systems have been critically damaged, and the planet is now operating well beyond the safe limits for humanity. Samantha Burgess, the CCCS deputy director, highlighted that 2023 witnessed temperature levels unrivaled in at least the past 100,000 years.

Experts stress the importance of taking action and making significant changes to combat climate change. Every small change made now to reduce warming is crucial, as the current pace of global warming leaves future generations at even greater risk.

The need to rapidly decrease fossil fuel consumption and achieve net-zero emissions is paramount to preserving a livable climate. The scientific community urges governments and nations worldwide to prioritize climate action and make substantial changes in behavior and policy to address the climate crisis.