The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) issued a stern warning today, Thursday, declaring 2023 as the hottest year on record.
The provisional State of the Global Climate report disclosed alarming climate records shattered throughout the year, urging immediate and decisive actions to combat the escalating threats of global warming.
WMO Chief, Petteri Taalas, expressed the severity of the situation, stating, “It’s a deafening cacophony of broken records.”
The report highlighted unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases, soaring global temperatures, record-high sea-level rise, and a striking reduction in Antarctic sea ice.
Released on the sidelines of the UN COP28 climate conference in Dubai, the report drew attention to the urgency of curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasised the gravity of the findings, urging world leaders to take substantial measures to counteract climate change.
While the Paris Climate Accords targeted limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius, the WMO report revealed that 2023 had already surpassed 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of October.
The report underlined that the difference from the previous record-holding years, 2016 and 2020, was substantial enough to deem 2023 the hottest year.
The agency sounded an alarm about the El Nino weather phenomenon, predicting that it would contribute to further heating in 2024.
The preliminary report disclosed record-high concentrations of greenhouse gases in 2022, continuing to rise in 2023. Carbon dioxide levels were reported to be 50 percent higher than pre-industrial levels.
Sea level rise over the past decade was found to be more than double the rate recorded in the first decade of satellite records (1993-2002).
Additionally, Antarctic sea ice hit a record low, with glaciers in North America and Europe experiencing extreme melting.
The WMO’s forecast extended beyond statistics, emphasising the dire socio-economic impacts, including threats to food security and mass displacement.
UN chief Guterres urged world leaders at the Dubai conference to commit to aggressive measures, including the phasing out of fossil fuels and a tripling of renewable energy capacity, to prevent the worst of climate chaos.