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Confirmed: 2023 the hottest year on record

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has confirmed that 2023 is the hottest year on record with the latest climate data from November.

The organisation says the world has seen six record-breaking months this year, and two record-breaking seasons.

“The extraordinary global November temperatures, including two days warmer than 2°C above pre-industrial [reference period], mean that 2023 is the warmest year in recorded history,” says Deputy Director of C3S Samantha Burgess.

The Copernicus data has revealed November hit a global average of 1.75°C above the pre-industrial recorded temperatures (from 1850-1900).

A recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed Australia saw its ninth warmest November on record and the fifth warmest spring.

And according to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia is at risk of extreme heat and heatwaves this summer. The organisation said in a statement that most of the continent has an increased chance of unusually high temperatures (possibly in the top 20 per cent of records) for this time of year.

C3S Director Carlo Buontempo says that as long as greenhouse gas concentrations keep rising, we can’t expect different outcomes from those seen this year.

“The temperature will keep rising and so will the impacts of heatwaves and droughts,” he says. “Reaching net zero as soon as possible is an effective way to manage our climate risks.”

The current El Niño conditions are expected to continue through to April–June 2024.

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