2023 will be the warmest year on record

2023 will be the warmest year according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service assessment that takes into account changes in surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables on a global scale. What stands out among the measurements is that the extent of Antarctica's frozen surface was the second lowest for a month of November.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) predicts that 2023 will likely be the warmest year on record. This calculation comes from records taken throughout the year by this center implemented through the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, and which includes data for the month of November. 

In its monthly climate bulletin, Copernicus reports on changes in surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables on a global scale. All results are based on computer analysis and the ERA5 data set that uses billions of measurements from satellites, ships, airplanes and weather stations around the world.

Therefore, among the main indicators of surface air temperature in November 2023, it can be seen that it was the warmest November, since there was a world record, with average average surface air temperatures of 14,22°C (0,85°F) above the 1991-2020 average this month).

Additionally, last month was 1,75°C warmer than the estimated average for November from 1850 to 1900, the pre-industrial reference period. At the same time, the global temperature anomaly in November 2023 is the same as in October 2023.

The average sea surface temperature over the past month (60°S to 60°N) was the highest on record for November, 0,25°C warmer than the second warmest November in November 2015.

A record autumn

This year (January to November), the global average temperature in 2023 is the highest since records have been recorded: 1,46°C above the pre-industrial average and above zero.13°C compared to the 11-month period corresponding to 2016, the warmest year recorded to date.

For the northern autumn of 2023, it turned out to be the warmest season ever recorded in the world, as the average temperature was 15,30°C (0,88°C above average). However, the average temperature in Europe from September to November is 10,96°C, 1,43°C above average. This makes autumn 2023 the second warmest on record, just 0,03°C colder than autumn 2020.

Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), noted that in six months of 2023 “records have been broken and in two of the stations, also”. The extraordinary global temperatures of November, “which has had two days with temperatures 2 ºC above the pre-industrial temperature, making 2023 the warmest year in history since records exist"He added.

For his part, the director of C3S, Carlo Buontempo, noted that "As long as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, we cannot expect different results than what we have seen this year because temperatures will continue to rise."It will also increase."the impact of heat waves and droughts".
According to Buontempo, “An effective way to manage climate risk is to achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible".

Global monthly surface air temperature (°C) anomalies for the period 1991-2020 plotted as a time series for each year from January 1940 to November 2023. Thick shaded lines in bright red and dark red correspond to the years 2023 and 2016, respectively. The rest of the years are shown with thin, shaded lines according to the decade, ranging from blue (1940s) to brick red (2020s). Data source: ERA5. / Copernicus Climate Change Service, European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMPM)

Thaw, excessive rain or drought

The report notes that among the most significant changes to the ice sheet in November 2023, the extent of Arctic sea ice reached its eighth lowest level in November, 4% below average. Antarctic sea ice extent hit its second lowest level in November, 9% below average, after hitting record lows for this time of year for six consecutive months.

Looking at hydrological variables for the last month recorded in 2023, scientists noted that much of Europe received above-average rainfall in November and that Storm Ciarán affected many regions, including Italy, causing heavy rain and flooding. At the same time, drier conditions were observed in parts of the United States, central and eastern Asia, and much of the extratropical southern hemisphere, with a particular emphasis on South America.

Situation in the rivers in the warmest year

Regarding hydrological variables, the bulletin indicates that in the fall of 2023, above-average rainfall was recorded in a large area of Europe, as well as in the United Kingdom and Ireland, much of Scandinavia and Turkey.
During the season, several storms produced widespread rainfall and localized flooding.

However, during the same period, conditions were drier than average in much of North America, Central Asia and the Far East, as well as much of Australia, South America and South Africa. Extratropical areas with above-normal rainfall include the northwestern Caspian Sea and parts of Russia, far eastern China, southern Brazil, Chile, and the Horn of Africa.


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