The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released its latest report, indicating that 2023 is poised to become the hottest year on record. According to the Provisional State of the Global Climate in 2023 report, data up until October reveals a temperature approximately 1.40 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline of 1850-1900, with a margin of uncertainty of ±0.12°C.
This year’s temperatures are expected to surpass previous record-holding years like 2016 and 2020, which registered temperatures of 1.29 (± 0.12) °C and 1.27 (±0.13) °C respectively above the 1850–1900 average.
The concentrations of primary greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – reached their highest levels in 2022 based on the latest global data. Continuous measurements throughout 2023 indicate a consistent increase in these gases.
The WMO expressed deep concern, noting that extreme weather patterns in 2023 have caused extensive damage and distress. The warming El Niño event, which emerged in the Northern Hemisphere spring and intensified during the summer, is predicted to contribute to heightened temperatures in 2024.
Ocean heat content in 2022 reached its peak, marking the highest level recorded in the past 65 years. This trend is expected to persist, signifying an irreversible shift over centuries.
Moreover, global sea levels in 2023 hit a record high since satellite monitoring began in 1993, indicating accelerated ice sheet and glacier melting. The rate of sea level rise over the last decade has doubled compared to initial satellite observations.
Antarctic sea-ice extent hit an all-time low in February, recorded since satellite monitoring began in 1979. These climatic changes have exacerbated challenges in food security, population displacement, and disproportionately affected vulnerable communities, according to the report.
WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas emphasized the severity of the situation, highlighting that greenhouse gas levels, global temperatures, sea level rise, and Antarctic sea ice are all at unprecedented levels, creating a concerning and unmistakable trend.