On Wednesday, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced that October 2023 will go down in history as the hottest October ever recorded anywhere in the world. A monthly average surface temperature of 15.3 degrees Celsius (59.54 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded by the service, setting a new record high.
The October temperature was 0.85 degrees Celsius higher than the average for the period 1991-2020, and a staggering 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than the preindustrial era of 1850-1900. This dangerous pattern of increasing temperatures has been linked to the continued burning of fossil fuels, which has been recognized as the fundamental cause of the climate catastrophe.
The compilation of worldwide temperature records is predicated upon information gathered by weather stations, ships, aircraft, and satellites. The aforementioned records underscore the fact that the annual global mean temperature has reached its highest point ever documented. This places 2023 on a course to surpass the temperature average of 2016, which presently occupies the distinction of being the warmest year in recorded history.
The discoveries elicit incredulity from climate scientists, who draw parallels to sequences from a major motion picture. The unparalleled increase in worldwide temperatures is ascribed to the continuous escalation of greenhouse gas emissions and the intensification of the El Niño phenomenon.
The extreme temperature anomalies in October followed a four-month period in which world temperature records were continuously broken, as stated by Samantha Burgess, the deputy director of C3S. “We can say with near certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record, and is currently 1.43ºC above the preindustrial average,” added Burgess. Ahead of the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2023, the speaker stressed the need of adopting bold climate action.
C3S reported that El Nio conditions have persisted in the equatorial Pacific, despite the fact that recent temperature anomalies are far less in size than those recorded during the particularly strong El Nio periods that occurred in 1997 and 2015. The rise in global temperatures may be directly attributed to El Nio, a natural climatic phenomena.
Experts and climate scientists emphasize the significant consequences of this trend. According to David Reay, a climate scientist affiliated with Edinburgh University, the projected values for air temperatures, sea temperatures, sea ice, and other related variables in 2023 are so stark that they resemble data from a science fiction film. If our present international endeavors to address climate change were a motion picture, it would be titled “Hot Mess.”
Imperial College London climate scientist Friederike Otto emphasized that the October heat record has had dire consequences and is not merely a statistical curiosity. According to her, “Within this year, extreme heatwaves and droughts, made much worse by these extreme temperatures, have caused thousands of deaths, people losing their livelihoods, being displaced, etc.”
Therefore, the policymakers and business leaders from around the world are slated to convene in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12 for COP28, an international conference to discuss the escalating climate crisis. The yearly occasion endeavors to investigate strategies for attaining the ambitious objective outlined in the momentous Paris Agreement of 2015. That objective is to restrict the increase in global temperature to a mere 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2050.
Global average temperature has increased by around 1.1 degrees Celsius as a consequence of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use practices and the usage of fossil fuels. Around the planet, this trend is worsening severe weather occurrences.