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2023 was hottest year on record, new Copernicus report shows

By Knowledge Network – Staff memberPublished on

The new Copernicus Global Climate Highlights 2023 Report shows record-breaking climate conditions in 2023. It also finds that it is likely that a 12-month period ending in January or February 2024 will exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C.

The 2023 Global Climate Highlights report, published by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, part of the EU’s Earth Observation programme, marks 2023 as the worldwide hottest year on record, since the beginning of global data recording in 1850. With a global average temperature of 14.98 °C, 2023 surpassed the previous warmest year, 2016, by a substantial margin of 0.17 °C.

Not only is this increase fuelled by climate change, but, as the report points out, extreme events can also have an impact on global climate. For example, in 2023, the carbon emissions due to wildfires increased by 30% with respect to the previous year, largely due to the devastating fire season in Canada.

The extremes we have observed over the last few months provide a dramatic testimony of how far we now are from the climate in which our civilisation developed. This has profound consequences for the Paris Agreement and all human endeavours. If we want to successfully manage our climate risk portfolio, we need to urgently decarbonise our economy whilst using climate data and knowledge to prepare for the future.

More information on the Global Climate Highlights 2023 as well as the full report can be found here.


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