Global temperature sets a new heat record in the last 12 months

This Tuesday, the Copernicus Climate Change Service certified last October as the warmest October in history and also announced that 2023 will be the hottest year of our lives, for now. The warmest October is preceded by the hottest September and is joined by a meteorological summer with historic extreme temperatures. But if you continue going back on the calendar to exactly one year ago, “this twelve-month period is one of the warmest in history.”

This is revealed by an investigation by the scientific organization Climate Central, which ensures that 99% of the world’s population suffered heat above the usual average between October 2022 and October 2023. «The study certifies what we have been able to verify here in Spain and in many other regions of the world. The average temperature of the planet has taken a jump in 2023, which cannot be attributed to a single cause, but which bears the signature of anthropogenic global warming,” says José Miguel Viñas, Meteored meteorologist and consultant to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). ), in statements collected by SMC Spain.

In the research, scientists from this NGO point out that almost 6,000 million people were exposed, for at least 30 days, to temperatures higher than the usual average. “Only Lesotho and Iceland recorded colder temperatures than usual,” the report states. This anomalous exposure included, according to this report, almost all inhabitants of Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, all Caribbean nations and Central America; and, also, Spain.

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Furthermore, during this period, more than 500 million people in 200 cities experienced spells of extreme heat, including Madrid and Barcelona. “Records will continue to fall next year, especially as El Niño begins to take hold, exposing billions of people to unusual heat. “While climate impacts are most acute in developing countries near the equator, seeing climate-fueled spells of extreme heat in the United States, India, Japan and Europe underscores that no one is safe from climate change,” warns Andrew Pershing, vice president of science at Climate Central.

‘El Niño’ until April

Last May, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially announced the arrival of El Niño “contributing to a new increase in temperatures on both land and ocean.”

“Records will continue to fall next year, especially as El Niño begins to take hold, exposing billions of people to unusual heat”

Andrew Pershing

Vice President of Science at Climate Central

This weather phenomenon occurs on average every two to seven years and typically lasts nine to 12 months. Based on historical patterns and current long-term predictions, it is expected to gradually decline during the coming spring, the WMO says.

In mid-October, sea surface temperatures and other atmospheric and oceanic indicators in the central-eastern tropical Pacific “are consistent with the warm phase of El Niño,” WMO experts note. According to data from this organization, this weather phenomenon developed rapidly during July-August and reached moderate strength in September 2023. However, it is likely to peak as a strong event in November-January 2024.

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