New data strongly indicates that 2023 is on track to become the hottest year on record, marked by a series of devastating heatwaves, floods, and wildfires. This forecast comes in the wake of remarkably high temperatures in October, which have set a new standard. According to the European Union’s climate change service, global average air temperatures for October were 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than the previous record set in October 2019. This remarkable warmth is attributed to the combined effects of carbon emissions and an El Niño weather pattern, making it the fifth consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures.
Climate scientists are now suggesting that extreme global temperatures are likely to persist well into 2024. The inevitability of 2023 becoming the hottest year ever recorded is becoming increasingly apparent, as the last two months of the year are unlikely to reverse the prevailing trend, and high temperatures continue to prevail into November.
The high temperature recorded in October is just one of many instances this year where global heat records have been shattered. The number of days exceeding the politically significant 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold has reached an all-time high, well before the year’s end. July, in particular, was so exceptionally warm that it may have been the hottest month experienced in the past 120,000 years. Additionally, average temperatures in September exceeded the previous record by an astonishing 0.5 degrees Celsius.