2023 has been named as the hottest year since records began, according to Copernicus, Europe's Earth observation program.
The report details record-breaking conditions such as the hottest month on record and daily global temperature averages briefly surpassing pre-industrial levels by more than 2 degrees Celsius.
Average annual temperatures rose to 14.98 degrees Celsius, higher than the previous record set in 2016. The hottest months of 2023 were July and August, but December was the warmest December on record globally, with an average temperature of 13.51 degrees Celsius – 0.85 degrees above the 1991-2020 average.
Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said "2023 was an exceptional year with climate records tumbling like dominoes."
The weather in Europe
In Europe, 2023 was the second-warmest year, after 2020. Temperatures were above average for 11 months during 2023 and September was the warmest month for the region.
It was battered by a series of extreme weather events, like heatwaves, floods, droughts and wildfires.
Temperatures in Europe were above average for 11 months during 2023 and September was the warmest on record.
Sea ice shrinking at fastest rate yet
The increase in sea level temperature and global warming has caused sea ice to shrink at an alarming rate.
Sea ice coverage of the Antarctic reached an all-time low in February, before the Arctic reached its sixth-lowest level in September.
At its annual peak in March, Arctic sea ice extent ranked amongst the fourth-lowest for the time of the year in the satellite record. The annual minimum, in September, was the sixth-lowest.
The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane continued to increase and reached record levels in 2023, reaching 419 ppm and 1902 ppb respectively. Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations in 2023 were significantly higher than in 2022, while estimated global wildfire carbon emissions increased by 30 percent year-on-year.
Carlo Buontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said that "the extremes we have observed over the last few months provide a dramatic testimony of how far we are now from the climate in which our civilization developed."