WMO Confirms 2023 as Earth’s Warmest Year in History, Global Warming Intensifies

March 29, 2024
1 min read
Unprecedented temperatures and climate impacts
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The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Tuesday said 2023 was the hottest year on record. It was already known that 2023 was the warmest year ever with average temperatures around 1.45 degrees Celsius (C) above the pre-industrial average, nearly breaching the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree threshold. The annual ‘State of Climate’ Report of WMO showed that the global mean near-surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45 degrees C above the 1850-1900 average. It turned the warmest year in the 174-year history of record-keeping. 

The report has revealed that in 2023 greenhouse gas concentrations reached a record high. Ocean heat content hit its greatest point in the 65 years that they had been monitored. Over the course of the decade, the pace of sea level rise doubled. A worldwide collection of reference glaciers saw the greatest recorded loss of ice. The WMO report gives an ominous new significance to the phrase “off the charts.” The report confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year on record.

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The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Sirens are blaring… Some records aren’t chartbusting. And changes are speeding up.” WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saul said, “Climate change is about much more than temperatures. What we witnessed in 2023, especially with the unexpected ocean warmth, glacier retreat, and Antarctic sea ice loss, is cause for particular concern.”

Key Messages from WMO Report:

  • 2023 was the warmest year in the 174-year observation record.
  • Global mean near-surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45, 0.12 degrees C above the 1850-1900 average.
  • It was evident that 2020 exceeded the previous joint hottest years, 2016 (1.29, 0.12 degrees C above the 1850–1900 average) and 2020 (1.27, 0.13 degrees C above).
  • The ten-year average 2014-2023 global temperature is 1.20, 0.12 degrees C above the 1850-1900 average, the warmest 10-year period on record.
  • In 2022, the concentrations of the three primary greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide) reached record high levels. 

Real-time data from particular areas demonstrated that in 2023, the three greenhouse gas levels remained elevated. Extreme weather events threw life for a loop in many regions of the world. Mediterranean storm Daniel caused flooding and excessive rainfall in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Libya; Libya suffered an especially high death toll in September.

Tropical cyclone Freddy in February and March was one of the world’s longest-lived tropical cyclones with major impacts in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi. The cyclone Mocha triggered 1.7 million displacements across Sri Lanka to Myanmar and through India and Bangladesh and worsened acute food insecurity.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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