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The hottest October on record

The hottest October on record

(Paris) 2023 continues its race to the top of the thermometer: The European Copernicus Observatory announced on Wednesday that October was the hottest month on record in the world, continuing a streak of monthly records that began in June, during which 2023 “almost certainly will.” “To exceed the annual record of 2016.


These new measures, which lead to droughts synonymous with famines, devastating fires or strengthened hurricanes, fuel the warnings of scientists, which will be the backdrop of the twenty-eighth century.H UN Climate Conference in Dubai (November 30 – December 12).

Samantha Burgess, Vice President of Copernicus, said: “We can say with certainty that 2023 will be the hottest year on record” and that “the sense of urgency for ambitious climate action in the run-up to COP28 has never been stronger.” “. Climate Change Management (C3S), in a statement.

Last month, an average of 15.38 degrees Celsius over the Earth’s surface, beat the previous record set in October 2019 by 0.4 degrees Celsius, according to Copernicus. This anomaly is considered “exceptional” in relation to global temperatures.

The observatory adds that October 2023 will be “1.7 degrees Celsius warmer than the average October during the period 1850-1900,” before the impact of human greenhouse gas emissions.

Since January, the average temperature has been the hottest on record for the first 10 months of the year: 1.43 degrees Celsius above the 50s-90s climate, according to the European Observatory.

“State of siege”

More than ever, 2023 is closer to the symbolic year-long limit (+1.5°C) set by the Paris Agreement, at which COP28 must establish its first formal assessment and, if possible, first corrective action.

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The World Meteorological Organization estimated in the spring that this barrier would be crossed for the first time in 12 months during the next five years.

However, it would be necessary to measure 1.5°C on average over several years to consider the threshold reached from a climate point of view. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which brings together UN-mandated climate experts, expects there to be a 50% chance from 2030-2035, taking into account the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, especially from fossil fuels.

The current climate is about 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in the years 1850-1900.

Copernicus’s measurements date back to 1940, but are comparable to climates of thousands of years ago, determined using tree rings or ice cores. These data indicate that current temperatures are likely to be the warmest in more than 100,000 years.

“Life on planet Earth is under siege,” a group of prominent scientists warned at the end of October in an alarming report, citing the “little progress” humans have made in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.2.

Lower El Niño phenomenon

As in 2016, the current annual heat record, El Niño will add to the effects of climate change in 2023 to cause the thermometer to rise. This periodic phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean generally peaks around Christmas time.

It continues to develop “although the anomalies are still lower than those reached at this time of year” in 1997 and 2015, when El Niño was historically strong, according to Copernicus estimates.

On different continents, drought in October struck areas of the United States and Mexico. While large areas of the planet experienced wetter than normal conditions, often associated with storms and hurricanes.

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Ocean warming plays a major role in these records.

Sea surface temperatures have broken records every month since April, including October with an average of 20.79 degrees Celsius.

This increase has the effect of increasing the intensity of storms, carrying more evaporated water. Accelerating the melting of the floating ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica, which is critical for retaining fresh water from the glaciers and preventing massive sea level rise.

For the sixth straight month, Antarctic sea ice remains at a record low level for the season, 11% below average, according to C3S. At the North Pole, in the north, October 7thH Monthly minimum, 12% below average.