Past 12 months were the hottest on record

Experts are expecting the hot streak to continue into 2024.

Roseanna Leconte
4th December 2023
Image Credit: Pixabay @geralt
Climate Central recently revealed that the last 12 months, between November 2022 and October 2023, were the hottest on record globally. There has also been a rise in heatwaves driven by carbon pollution. This report was published ahead of COP 28, the United Nation's annual climate change conference.

One of the main causes of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in around 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted worldwide per year. 2023 has also seen record-breaking wildfires, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, with 410 million tonnes of  emissions, of which 27% came from Canada. Such events of major deforestation also means there are significantly less trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Scientists measure global warming by combining measurements of the air above the land surface and the ocean surface, collected from weather stations, satellites, ships and buoys, weather balloons, etc.

Experts are expecting the hot streak to continue into 2024. We are currently in the midst of what is called 'El Nino', which is a climate pattern identified by the unusual warming of surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific.

Some of the more drastic effects of El Nino in some parts of the world include limited availability to food and water due to crop losses, droughts, and extreme rainfall which all have a detrimental effect on agriculture. The least developed countries on the planet often suffer the most, despite contributing less emissions.

The World Meteorological Organisation believes there is a 66% likelihood that, for at least one year between 2024 and 2027, temperatures will exceed the 1.5 degree warming compared to pre-industrial levels, a level internationally agreed as a benchmark for irreversible effects of climate change.

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