2022 was fifth hottest year on record, and 2023 is likely to be worse: Report
A report published on Thursday said that 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record globally. The report by EU Copernicus scientists has also predicted the return of the El Nino weather phenomenon that could drive temperatures higher in 2023. Glaciers melted last year during Europe's hottest recorded summer and the phenomenon could repeat as the continent warms at nearly twice the global rate, the EU's climate observatory said.
"El Nino is normally associated with record breaking temperatures at the global level. Whether this will happen in 2023 or 2024 is yet known, but it is, I think, more likely than not," said Carlo Buontempo, director of the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service.
"We are really moving into uncharted territory."
Climate models suggest a return to El Nino conditions in the late boreal summer, Buontempo said. He added that there is possibility of a strong El Nino developing towards the end of the year.
Climate change fuelled extreme weather events in the world last year and later, with heavy rain causing disastrous flooding in Pakistan. Later in February, Antarctic sea ice levels hit a record low.
In several European countries, 2022 saw the highest carbon emissions from wildfires that engulfed several areas for a much longer period than average. The wildfires ignited earlier and finished later in the year, Copernicus's Samantha Burgess said.
"Climate change isn't a future problem, it is a current problem or a current challenge that we all need to adapt to and live with," she said.
Human-caused emissions are heating the planet and Europe is warming around twice as quickly as the world average, which is 2.2 degree Celsius over the past five years compared to the pre-industrial era.