Earth to break record for six warmest months; 2023 set to be hottest year - Hindustan Times
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Earth to break record for six warmest months; 2023 set to be hottest year

Dec 06, 2023 02:22 PM IST

As the year approaches its conclusion, 2023 is poised to break the record for the hottest year.

Earth has established a new monthly record for heat for the sixth consecutive month, marking the hottest autumn as well, as per the calculations by the European climate agency.

The European Space Agency's Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that November surpassed the previous warmest November by almost a third of a degree Celsius. . (AP)
The European Space Agency's Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that November surpassed the previous warmest November by almost a third of a degree Celsius. . (AP)

As the year approaches its conclusion, 2023 is poised to break the record for the hottest year.

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The European Space Agency's Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that November surpassed the previous warmest November by almost a third of a degree Celsius. Early Wednesday, scientists revealed that November was 1.75 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times, tying with October and ranking just behind September as the warmest month above average.

Copernicus Deputy Director Samantha Burgess said, “The last half year has truly been shocking. Scientists are running out of adjectives to describe this.”

Burgess said that this year's November averaged 14.22 degrees Celsius, which was 0.85 degrees Celsius warmer than the complete average of the last 30 years. Two days in November 2023, were 2 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial times. This is something that has never happened before.

As per the calculations by the Copernicus scientists, until now, this year is 1.46 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial times, which is around a seventh of a degree warmer than the last warmest year — 2016. This is extremely close to the international threshold that the world has set for climate change.

The goal set as per the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement limited global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times, with a secondary target of 2 degrees Celsius. Diplomats, activists, scientists, and others who met at the United Nations climate conference, COP28, in Dubai for nearly two weeks are still finding ways to limit the warming to those levels, however, the planet is not cooperating.

Based on the commitments and actions taken by countries globally, scientists project that Earth is heading towards a temperature increase of 2.7 to 2.9 degrees Celsius (4.9 to 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Copernicus has calculated that the northern autumn is experiencing the highest temperatures ever recorded.

While Copernicus has data dating back to 1940, records from the United States government extend to 1850. Scientists, employing proxies like ice cores, tree rings, and corals, assert that the current decade is the warmest the Earth has experienced in approximately 125,000 years, predating human civilization. Furthermore, the recent months stand out as the hottest within the last decade.

Researchers identify two primary factors contributing to the six consecutive months of record-breaking heat. Firstly, human-induced climate change resulting from the combustion of coal, oil, and gas acts as a continuous escalator effect. Secondly, the natural El Niño-La Niña cycle is akin to intermittently jumping up or down on that escalator.

The current state involves a robust El Niño, a temporary warming of central Pacific regions that significantly impacts global weather patterns. This exacerbates the already elevated global temperatures attributed to climate change.

Burgess said that the continuous emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will lead to further warming. She emphasised that this ongoing trend will result in “catastrophic floods, fires, heat waves, droughts will continue”.

“2023 is very likely to be a cool year in the future unless we do something about our dependence on fossil fuels,” she added.

— With inputs from Associated Press

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