2023 Emerges as Hottest Year on Record Globally

  • 16 Jan 2024

The year 2023 has etched its name in the annals of climate history, standing out as the planet's hottest on record, as disclosed by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on January 9, 2024.

Key Points

  • Unprecedented Climate Anomalies: Since June, each passing month in 2023 has shattered previous temperature records, establishing the year as an exceptional period in climatic history, according to C3S Director Carlo Buontempo.
  • Historical Significance: C3S confirms 2023 as the hottest year globally, with Director Buontempo suggesting it could be the warmest in the last 100,000 years based on paleoclimatic data.
  • Temperature Surge: The planet experienced a substantial temperature increase of 1.48 degrees Celsius on average in 2023 compared to the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).
  • Paris Agreement Commitment: Despite the 2015 Paris Agreement's aim to prevent global warming beyond 1.5C, C3S notes that temperatures in 2023 surpassed this threshold on nearly half of the days, setting a dire precedent.
  • Record CO2 Emissions: CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels hit record highs in 2023, despite global efforts and commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Atmospheric CO2 Concentration: The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached a record 419 parts per million in 2023, contributing to the ongoing climate crisis.
  • Temperature Extremes: 2023 marked the first year where every day surpassed pre-industrial temperatures by more than 1C, with two days in November reaching 2C hotter than the pre-industrial period.
  • El Nino Influence: Alongside human-caused climate change, the El Nino weather phenomenon in the eastern Pacific Ocean contributed to elevated global temperatures in 2023.
  • Impacts on People, Economy, and Ecosystems: The hotter climate in 2023 intensified heatwaves, floods, and wildfires globally, highlighting the substantial impact on people, economies, and ecosystems.
  • Climate Change Economic Toll: The economic consequences of climate change are escalating, with the U.S. experiencing at least 25 climate and weather disasters in 2023, causing damages exceeding $1 billion. Prolonged droughts further ravaged crops in Argentina and Spain.