February 29, 2024

The European climate agency, Copernicus, announced on Tuesday that Earth broke all previous global annual heat records last year, indicating more signs of global warming. The agency reported that 2023 was 1.48 degrees Celsius (2.66 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrial times, just under the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set by the 2015 Paris climate accord.

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Furthermore, Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess stated that January 2024 is projected to be so warm that it will be the first time a 12-month period will surpass the 1.5-degree threshold. This is significant as scientists have consistently stated that Earth would need to average 1.5 degrees of warming over two or three decades to technically breach the threshold.

Burgess emphasized the importance of maintaining the 1.5-degree goal, stating that it impacts not just us, but our future generations as well. The record heat experienced last year resulted in extreme weather events, including a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, torrential rains in Libya, and wildfires in Canada.

Copernicus calculated that the global average temperature for 2023 was about one-sixth of a degree Celsius (0.3 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the previous record set in 2016. Burgess highlighted that this is a significant increase for global record-keeping.

The agency attributed the record warmth of 2023 to several factors, with the primary one being the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Other contributing factors include natural phenomena like El Nino, oscillations in the Arctic, southern and Indian oceans, increased solar activity, and the 2022 eruption of an undersea volcano.

Climate scientist Malte Meinshausen from the University of Melbourne stated that about 1.3 degrees Celsius of the warming comes from greenhouse gases, with another 0.1 degrees Celsius from El Nino and the rest from smaller causes.

Given the current conditions, Burgess predicted that 2024 is “extremely likely” to be even hotter than 2023. Copernicus’ records, which date back to 1940, are based on a combination of observations and forecast models. Other groups, including NOAA, NASA, the UK’s Meteorological Office, and Berkeley Earth, will announce their calculations for 2023 on Friday, with expectations of record-breaking temperatures.

The European climate agency, Copernicus, announced on Tuesday that Earth broke all previous global annual heat records last year, indicating more signs of global warming. The agency reported that 2023 was 1.48 degrees Celsius (2.66 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrial times, just under the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set by the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Table of Contents

Furthermore, Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess stated that January 2024 is projected to be so warm that it will be the first time a 12-month period will surpass the 1.5-degree threshold. This is significant as scientists have consistently stated that Earth would need to average 1.5 degrees of warming over two or three decades to technically breach the threshold.

Burgess emphasized the importance of maintaining the 1.5-degree goal, stating that it impacts not just us, but our future generations as well. The record heat experienced last year resulted in extreme weather events, including a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, torrential rains in Libya, and wildfires in Canada.

Copernicus calculated that the global average temperature for 2023 was about one-sixth of a degree Celsius (0.3 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the previous record set in 2016. Burgess highlighted that this is a significant increase for global record-keeping.

The agency attributed the record warmth of 2023 to several factors, with the primary one being the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Other contributing factors include natural phenomena like El Nino, oscillations in the Arctic, southern and Indian oceans, increased solar activity, and the 2022 eruption of an undersea volcano.

Climate scientist Malte Meinshausen from the University of Melbourne stated that about 1.3 degrees Celsius of the warming comes from greenhouse gases, with another 0.1 degrees Celsius from El Nino and the rest from smaller causes.

Given the current conditions, Burgess predicted that 2024 is “extremely likely” to be even hotter than 2023. Copernicus’ records, which date back to 1940, are based on a combination of observations and forecast models. Other groups, including NOAA, NASA, the UK’s Meteorological Office, and Berkeley Earth, will announce their calculations for 2023 on Friday, with expectations of record-breaking temperatures.

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