The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued a chilling proclamation as it forecasts 2023 to stand as the warmest year on record, surpassing previous milestones set in 2016 and 2020. According to the WMO’s provisional State of the Global Climate report, released ahead of the UN Climate Summit (COP28) in Dubai, the average global temperature until October had surged approximately 1.40°C above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 baseline.
This impending record-breaking temperature follows a trend of continuous warmth over the past nine years, with each year from 2015 to 2023 marking the warmest on record. The emergence of a warming El Niño event in 2023 further propelled this trajectory, with scientists predicting its continued impact into 2024.
The report attributes this drastic escalation in temperatures to the unabated increase in greenhouse gas emissions, signaling a stark warning about the imminent repercussions of unchecked global heating. Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the WMO, underscored the urgency of the situation, expressing concern about the potential loss of glaciers and the acceleration of sea-level rise, emphasizing the critical need for immediate action.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed this urgency, emphasizing that the current trajectory of global heating demands swift action from world leaders. He stressed the need for a concerted effort to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Paris Agreement, urging leaders to commit to stringent measures aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The WMO report highlighted a series of alarming climate events across the globe in 2023. Extreme weather conditions, such as floods, tropical cyclones, unprecedented heatwaves, and prolonged droughts, wreaked havoc on multiple continents. From Southern Europe and North Africa experiencing severe and persistent heatwaves to Canada witnessing an unprecedented wildfire season, the year was marked by numerous climate-related disasters.
Harjeet Singh, the head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, emphasized the urgency for bold action at COP28. Singh stressed the need for a definitive roadmap for the phase-out of fossil fuels, with wealthier nations taking the lead and providing crucial support to developing nations affected by climate disasters.
The report also highlighted the irrevocable damage inflicted on glaciers, sea levels, and the global climate system, emphasizing the urgent need for immediate intervention to mitigate further catastrophe.
As the international community convenes at COP28, the world awaits decisive action from global leaders to address the crisis and commit to a sustainable future. The WMO’s alarming findings serve as a clarion call, urging immediate and robust measures to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change before irreversible damage is done.
Sources By Agencies