Two new reports confirm 2023 to be the hottest year in modern history.
We are living through global warming in real time.
This week, it was confirmed that 2023 is the hottest year in the past 125,000 years – meaning we’ve already lived through the warmest 12 months in human history (give or take a few years).
While we still have over a month until 2024, EU scientists have said it’s ‘virtually certain’ that this year will be the hottest in recorded history, after five consecutive months of ‘record-obliterating temperatures’.
October smashed the previous temperature record, from 2019, by a significant margin.
‘The record was broken by 0.4 degrees Celsius, which is a huge margin’ said C3S Deputy Director Samantha Burgess, who described October 2023 temperatures as ‘very extreme’.
Globally, the average surface air temperature in October was 1.7 degrees Celsius warmer than the same month in 1850-1900, the pre-industrial period.
All 7.3 billion of us were exposed to global-warming-caused temperatures for at least 10 days throughout 2023. A quarter of us faced dangerous levels of extreme heat.
‘These impacts are only going to grow as long as we continue to burn oil and natural gas’ says Andrew Pershing, the vice-president for science at Climate Central.
‘This is the hottest temperature that our planet has experienced in something like 125,000 years’.
The main cause of this heat spike is said to be human-induced climate change, combined with natural variations in the climate such as ocean-warming.
But for countries closer to the equator, the impacts were more severe. Places like Jamaica and Rwanda were exposed to temperatures that were made over 4 times more likely by climate change.
It’s estimated that 700 cities with populations of at least 1 million experienced extreme heat this year, with daily temperatures that are expected to occur less than 1% of the time in those regions.
The increasing prevalence of climate-related disasters has led to a sense of helplessness among many. It’s a stark reminder that the consequences of our collective actions are no longer confined to the future—they are unfolding before our eyes.