Climate experts from the US government are sounding the alarm: there’s a nearly 50 percent chance that 2023 might become the hottest year ever recorded. Even more concerning, the following year could bring even higher temperatures, according to predictions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2023, up until now, stands as the third warmest year on record. This year is almost guaranteed to secure a spot among the top five warmest years, with a nearly 50 percent chance of clinching the title for the warmest year ever, as explained by Sarah Kapnick, NOAA’s chief scientist.
Gavin Schmidt, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, pointed out that 2024 might outdo 2023 in terms of heat, thanks to a Pacific warming event known as El Niño. Schmidt noted that the most significant impact of El Niño would likely occur in 2024, potentially making it even hotter than the already anticipated record-breaking 2023.
July’s scorching temperatures have been making headlines. The European Union’s climate observatory Copernicus declared it the hottest month ever documented on Earth. NOAA’s data released recently matches this observation. The average global surface temperature in July soared 2.02 degrees Fahrenheit (1.12 degrees Celsius) above the norm, marking it as NOAA’s hottest July in its 174-year history.
Ocean temperatures are also on the rise. July saw global ocean surface temperatures hitting record highs for the fourth consecutive month, a trend that began in June due to ongoing El Niño conditions.
Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist, and senior climate advisor, emphasized the widespread impacts of climate change on people and ecosystems worldwide. Beyond temperature shifts, Calvin mentioned other climate-related changes such as rising sea levels, declining Arctic sea ice, increased wildfire activity, and intensified heavy precipitation events.
Bill Nelson, the head of the US space agency, delivered a clear message: the Earth is undeniably warming up. Nelson emphasized that “Mother Nature is sending us a message” and urged swift action to save our planet from irreversible climate changes. The call to act before it’s too late resonates across the board, as climate experts underscore the urgency of addressing the issue to safeguard our environment.