READING, UK/BOLOGNA, Italy/BONN, Germany: The EU Copernicus Climate Change Service says 2023 was the warmest year on record and the first time every day exceeded 1.0°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level.
Nearly 50 percent of days were more than 1.5°C warmer than the 1850-1900 level, and two days in November were, for the first time, more than 2°C warmer.
Other Copernicus highlights include:
• 2023 is confirmed as the warmest calendar year in global temperature data records going back to 1850
• 2023 had a global average temperature of 14.98C, 0.17C higher than the previous highest annual value in 2016
• 2023 was 0.60˚C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and 1.48˚C warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level
• It is likely that a 12-month period ending in January or February 2024 will exceed 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level
• Each month from June to December in 2023 was warmer than the corresponding month in any previous year
• July and August 2023 were the warmest two months on record. Boreal summer (June-August) was also the warmest season on record
• In September 2023, the temperature deviation above the 1991–2020 average was larger than in any month in any year according to the Copernicus fifth generation ERA5 - atmospheric reanalysis - dataset (0.93˚C higher than the 1991-2020 average)
• October, November and December 2023, each with a temperature of 0.85˚C above average, ranked all joint second-largest in terms of temperature deviation above the 1991–2020 average.
"2023 was an exceptional year with climate records tumbling like dominoes,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “Not only is 2023 the warmest year on record, it is also the first year with all days over 1.0˚C warmer than the pre-industrial period. Temperatures during 2023 likely exceed[ed] those of any period in at least the last 100,000 years.”
The Copernicus scientist acknowledged the “dire precedent” but added it didn't mean governments have allowed mankind to surpass the limits set by the Paris Agreement [yet] as they refer to periods of at least 20 years “where this average temperature anomaly is exceeded”.
This view is not shared by former NASA scientist James Hansen who warned Congress in 1988 of a warming global climate to no avail.
He says mankind has already exceeded the Paris Agreement ceiling and at the beginning of January, 2024 he published another warning together with colleagues Makiko Sato and Pushker Kharecha:
"December was the 7th consecutive month of record-shattering global temperature, driven by the combination of a moderately strong El Nino and a large decrease of Earth’s albedo. The El Nino will fade in the next few months, but we anticipate that the string of record monthly temperatures will continue to a total of 12 and possibly 13 months because of Earth’s unprecedented energy imbalance.
"By May the 12-month running-mean global temperature relative to 1880-1920 should be +1.6-1.7°C and not fall below +1.4 ± 0.1°C during the next La Nina minimum. Thus, given the planetary energy imbalance, it will be clear that the 1.5°C ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes."
Copernicus is a component of the European Union’s space programme and is its flagship Earth observation programme, which operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Climate Change, Emergency, Land, Marine, and Security.
Story Type: News