Global temperatures continue to rise by exceptionally large steps this year. Measurements by the European Copernicus Climate Service show that another heat record was broken in October – and not by small numbers. Globally it was 0.4 degrees warmer than in October 2019, when the previous record for the month of October was set. According to Copernicus, it is almost certain that 2023 will go down as the warmest year since measurements began.
The figures from the EU’s scientific climate service will be published a few weeks before the next UN climate summit. It starts on November 30 in Dubai. Copernicus director Samantha Burgess points out in the run-up to the summit that the average temperature increase this year is already creeping towards 1.5 degrees. So far this year it is 1.43 degrees warmer than in pre-industrial times. “The urgency for ambitious climate action has never been greater,” Burgess concludes.
The limit of 1.5 degrees is mentioned, among other things, in the Paris Climate Agreement of late 2015. Almost every country in the world is a party to it, with the exception of Iran, Libya and Yemen. The most important agreement made in Paris is that countries reduce their emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to such an extent that the temperature increase remains well below 2 degrees and preferably below 1.5 degrees.
In October, the temperature peak was already higher than 1.5 degrees: according to Copernicus data, it was 1.7 degrees warmer than between 1850 and 1900, the period with which the service always compares the measurements. The complex El Niño weather pattern is currently also playing a role in this. This effect returns every few years and causes higher temperatures for months.
Climate scientists see an increase in the risk of so-called tipping points in climate systems as it gets warmer. For example, when the permafrost in the far north melts, a large amount of methane gas is released. That is a powerful greenhouse gas that will accelerate warming even further. This can create a vicious circle.
Other tipping points that could have major consequences are disappearing ice caps. Copernicus leaves no room for misunderstandings about this either: “October was the sixth month in a row in which the sea ice around Antarctica was at a record low level for this time of year.”
Also read: “When extreme weather phenomena become more and more extreme”: this is how hard climate warming will hit in 2023 (+)
2023 may be hottest year on record: “Climate collapse has begun”
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