《TAIPEI TIMES》 This year on track to be hottest on record: scientists
A member of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations pretends to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an inflatable globe at a protest at the COP28 UN climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
EU scientists yesterday said that this year would be the warmest on record, as the global mean temperature for the first 11 months of the year reached the highest level on record, 1.46°C above the 1850-1900 average.
The record comes as governments are in marathon negotiations on whether to, for the first time, phase out the use of carbon-emitting coal, oil and gas, the main source of warming emissions, at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The mean temperature for the January-to-November period was 0.13°C higher than the average for the same period in 2016, the warmest calendar year on record, the Copernicus Climate Change Service said.
Last month was the warmest November on record globally, with an average surface air temperature of 14.22°C, 0.85°C above the 1991-2020 average and 0.32°C above the previous warmest November, in 2020, Copernicus added.
This year “has now had six record-breaking months and two record-breaking seasons. The extraordinary global November temperatures, including two days warmer than 2°C above preindustrial [levels], mean that 2023 is the warmest year in recorded history,” Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess said in a statement.
The boreal autumn from September to November was also the warmest on record globally by a large margin, with an average temperature of 15.3°C, 0.88°C above average, EU scientists said.
Another report released yesterday showed that humanity faces an “unprecedented” risk from tipping points that could unleash a domino effect of irreversible catastrophes across the planet.
The most comprehensive assessment conducted of Earth’s invisible tripwires showed that while many of the 26 tipping points laid out in the report are linked to global warming, other human activities such as razing swaths of the Amazon rainforest could also push Earth’s ecosystems to the brink.
Five of these are showing signs of tipping — from melting ice sheets threatening catastrophic sea level rise, to mass die-off of tropical coral reefs — the report said.
Some might have already begun to irrecoverably transform, it said.
Once the world crosses the threshold for just one tipping point, dealing with the immediate humanitarian disaster could distract attention away from stopping the others, creating a “vicious cycle” of mass hunger, displacement and conflict, the report said.
Tim Lenton, an Earth system scientist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the report, said that these tipping points pose a “threat of a magnitude that is unprecedented for humanity.”
Additional reporting by AFP