2023 records as hottest year in history, urgent action needed
Last year turned out to be a scorcher, and not in a good way. According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), 2023 was officially the hottest year on record by a big margin. In fact, it’s likely the warmest the world has been in the last 100,000 years.
The signs were there, with broken climate records happening one after another since June. Each month in 2023 claimed the title of the hottest ever compared to its counterparts in previous years. C3S Director Carlo Buontempo called it an “exceptional year” in the climate world, standing out even among other really warm years.
On the thermometer scale, the planet was on average 1.48 degrees Celsius hotter in 2023 than during the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900. That’s when we humans started burning lots of fossil fuels and sending carbon dioxide into the air. Not good news, especially since countries agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid severe consequences.
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Although we haven’t quite crossed that 1.5-degree mark consistently over the years, C3S warned that temperatures went above it on almost half the days in 2023, setting a worrying precedent. Professor Hayley Fowler from Newcastle University emphasized the urgent need to cut emissions, pointing out that the political world’s pace to tackle the issue is lagging behind the rapid changes in extreme weather and rising temperatures.
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In simpler terms, the Earth is heating up faster than ever, breaking records left and right. It’s a wake-up call, urging us to take action before things get even hotter and more challenging to handle.