Enlarge image

Floods in the Netherlands (22 November)

Photo: IMAGO/Romy Arroyo Fernandez / IMAGO/NurPhoto

The World Meteorological Organization had already presented comparable assessments, and now the EU is also confirming a worrying record. 2023 will go down in history as the hottest year on record, according to the EU's climate change service Copernicus.

"The exceptional global November temperatures, including two days that reached a temperature level two degrees above pre-industrial temperatures, mean that 2023 will be the warmest year on record," Copernicus deputy chief Samantha Burgess said on Wednesday.

When asked, a Copernicus spokesperson explained that December temperatures would have to be extremely cold on a global average for 2023 not to be the warmest year. However, such low temperatures can be ruled out, as the natural climate phenomenon El Niño, which has a warming effect, continues to be at work. "That's why we can now say with great certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record," the spokesperson said.

This year, a number of heat records have already been measured. According to Copernicus, the months from June to November were the hottest in the world since records began.

Last week, the UN came to the same conclusion as Copernicus: the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) preliminary report on the state of the climate showed that 2023 would most likely be the hottest year on record.

UN chief's appeal to the Dubai conference

According to the study, the global average temperature was already around 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of October. The difference to the previous record years 2016 and 2020 is already so great that the months of November and December will not change the global heat record, it said.

In order to avert catastrophic consequences of climate change, the international community agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 to limit global warming to well below two degrees, but preferably to 1.5 degrees, compared to the pre-industrial era. According to a recent forecast by the UN, however, the earth is currently moving towards dangerous warming of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees by the year 2100 in view of further rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate experts hope that the more than 190 countries in Dubai will adopt measures to accelerate the transformation of the economy towards climate-neutral growth. In a video message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on them to take drastic steps to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. "There is still hope," he said.