Scientists have said that 2023 is on the verge of being the hottest year in recorded history, throwing light on the urgency needed to halt the climate crisis.
As the World gather in Dubai for COP28 next month, many climate activists say that sincere conversations and negotiations should not be traded on the altar of commercial interest.
Samantha Burgess, the deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said, “We can say with near certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record and is currently 1.43C above the pre-industrial average,” insisting that “The sense of urgency for ambitious climate action going into Cop28 has never been higher.”
According to data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, October 2023 was the hottest October since 1940 and the second hottest month recorded after September 2023. The average surface air temperature was 15.30°C, which is 0.85°C higher than the usual October temperature from 1991-2020. Compared to the pre-industrial reference period of 1850-1900, October 2023 was 1.7°C warmer.
Between January and October, the global average temperature rose by 1.43 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, approaching the critical 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold that climate scientists have long cautioned would pose substantial challenges worldwide. Additionally, the average temperature for the initial ten months of 2023 exceeds the 2016 equivalent by 0.10 degrees Celsius, marking it as the warmest year on record, the scientist said.
According to the World Economic Forum, Climate Change and carbon emissions are some of the major factors pushing the earth to its breaking point.
As human activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels (such as coal oil), deforestation, and certain industrial processes release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat, the earth’s temperature will continue to rise, resulting in extreme weather conditions.
Countries in Africa, which contributes barely 4% of global emissions, suffer some of the worst consequences of climate change. Last year, flossing in Nigeria submerged more than 15 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and a recent report estimated Nigeria’s loss to climate change at $3 billion annually. This amount is projected to almost double by 2050.
Across the continent, drought continues to plague Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, as Morocco suffered an earthquake that claimed more than 2000 lives and destroyed over 50,000 homes.
And Friederike Otto, a climate scientist, insists that the answer lies within the letters of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The goal of the agreement is to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement recognises the severe impacts that even a slight increase in temperature can have on ecosystems and vulnerable communities.
“…The Paris Agreement is a human rights treaty, and not keeping to the goals in it is violating human rights on a vast scale,” Otto said.