European climate observatory points out 2023 as the hottest year on record

Temperatures were particularly high during the second semester; July and August are the hottest months on record

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | Rio de Janeiro (RJ) |
In 2023, temperatures broke records, says the European observatory - Inmet/Divulgação

Data released on Tuesday (9) by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, linked to the European Union and known as C3S, show that 2023 was the hottest year on record, surpassing the record average temperature so far, in 2016.

The Global Climate Highlights report points out that the planet’s average temperature in 2023 was 14.98 degrees Celsius, which means 0.17 degrees Celsius above the 2016 average. Compared with pre-industrial levels – between 1850 and 1900 – the difference grew to 1.48 degrees Celsius, close to the 1.5 degrees Celsius scientists defined as the limit of catastrophic climate change.

The survey also shows that July and August 2023 were the two hottest months since measurements began. Temperatures were particularly high during the second semester, and all the months between June and December last year recorded figures above those of the same months in 2022.

C3S also emphasized the large number of extreme events recorded around the world, such as heatwaves, floods and droughts. Many of these events happened in Brazil. Forest fires, especially in Canada, made global carbon emissions caused by these kinds of incidents increase by 30% in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The general data did not surprise the scientists who are part of the Copernicus service. The data collected throughout the year already gave evidence that 2023 would be the hottest year on record. It reinforces the need for drastic changes.

“The extreme events we observed in recent months are a clear example of how far we are from the climate that existed at the beginning of the development of our civilization. If we want to successfully control climate risks possibilities, we urgently need to de-carbonize our economy using climate data and knowledge to prepare for the future,” explained Carlo Buontempo, the director of Copernicus.

Edited by: Thalita Pires