The hottest year on record

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As of November 2023, the hottest year on record is predicted to be 2023 itself. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service has forecasted that 2023 will be the hottest calendar year on record, with the average temperature up to October being 1.43 ºC above the pre-industrial average1. This prediction is supported by the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which stated that the global mean temperature year-to-date is the highest on record, putting 2023 on track to surpass the temperature average for 2016, which was previously the warmest year ever recorded4. The average global temperature over the past 12 months was 1.32 ºC above that during the pre-industrial baseline period of 1850 to 1900, surpassing the previous record of 1.29 ºC that was set from October 2015 to September 20161. This increase in temperature is largely attributed to human-induced climate change, with natural variation in the climate contributing much less1. The impacts of this warming are significant. Researchers found that 7.3 billion people worldwide were exposed, for at least 10 days, to temperatures that were heavily influenced by global warming. In the first half of the past 12 months, tropical regions across South America, Africa, and the Malay archipelago experienced the most days with temperatures that were strongly attributable to climate change1. Extreme heat, along with flooding and droughts, is often deadly and displaces thousands of people. In 2023, 1.9 billion people, or 24% of the world’s population, endured five consecutive days of extreme heat1. These findings highlight the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels and take action to mitigate the impacts of climate change14.
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