After an "extraordinary" November, 2023 will be the hottest year in history, the European Copernicus service said on Wednesday 6 December in the midst of climate negotiations at COP28. The past month has become the sixth in a row to break temperature records. With an average of 14.22°C on the surface of the globe, November 2023 exceeds the previous record set in November 0 by 32.2020°C. The month was 1.75°C warmer than the average for November for the period 1850-1900, which corresponds to the pre-industrial era.
The northern autumn (September to November in the northern hemisphere) was the warmest in history, with 15.30°C, a "wide margin" of 0.88°C above average. "2023 now has six months and two record-breaking seasons. This extraordinary November, including two days with temperatures 2 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels, means that 2023 is the hottest year on record," Samantha Burgess, Deputy Head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), said in a statement.
Since January, the average temperature has been the warmest ever measured in the first eleven months of the year: 1.46°C above the climate average of the period 1850-1900, and 0.13°C above the first eleven months of 2016, the warmest year so far. "As long as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, we should not expect results to differ from those observed this year. The temperature will continue to rise, as will the effects of heat waves and droughts," warned Carlo Buontempo, director of C3S, quoted in the statement.
A wetter Europe
The cyclical El Niño weather phenomenon over the Pacific continues to fuel the rise in temperatures in 2023 but has not yet peaked. In November 2023, the ocean surface temperature is also the warmest for this time of year, 0.25°C higher than at the previous peak in November 2015. This new heat record is in addition to those already broken every month since April.
Arctic sea ice extent in the north, recorded its 8th monthly low for November, 4% below average. In Antarctica, a second lowest level for the month of November was recorded, 9% below average, says Copernicus. The drought continued last month across parts of the United States, Central and East Asia, and is particularly pronounced in South America. On the other hand, Europe was wetter in the wake of Storm Ciaran, which caused significant rainfall.