‘Sirens are blaring’: UN climate report says 2023 was ‘off the charts’

In World


As Earth endured its hottest year on record in 2023, records for six other climate change metrics were also broken, according to a UN report issued Tuesday.

The State of the Global Climate 2023 report published by the World Meteorological Organization – the UN’s climate agency – confirmed what has already been widely reported.

However, the WMO said that 2023 also capped the planet’s warmest 10-year period on record.

According to the report, the world’s average near-surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45 degrees Celsius (2.61 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial baseline.

“Never have we been so close – albeit on a temporary basis at the moment – to the 1.5° C (2.7 degrees F) lower limit of the Paris Agreement on climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo in a statement about the report.

“The WMO community is sounding the Red Alert to the world.”

In a tweet about the report, the WMO used a spiral graph to show how global temperatures have warmed since the 19th century.

“2023 gave new meaning to the phrase ‘off the charts,’” scientists wrote in the tweet.


A river flowing through a glacier
The State of the Global Climate 2023 report published by the World Meteorological Organization – the UN’s climate agency – confirmed what has already been widely reported. Fox Weather

‘Changes are speeding up’

The world’s temperature was not the only record broken in 2023.

According to the report, records for greenhouse gases, ocean heat and sea level rise all hit record highs last year.

The extent of Antarctic sea ice also reached a record low, while Arctic sea ice remained well below normal.


Wind turbines in a farm with Albany Wind Farm visible in the background.
According to the report, the world’s average near-surface temperature in 2023 was 1.45 degrees Celsius (2.61 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial baseline. Fox Weather

The Greenland Ice Sheet continued to lose mass after the world’s largest island experienced its warmest summer on record.

A set of glaciers around the globe that are used for reference also saw the largest loss of ice on record.

“Sirens are blaring across all major indicators… Some records aren’t just chart-topping, they’re chart-busting. And changes are speeding-up,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in a statement about the report.

Renewable energy also sets record

Scientists said that renewable energy generation – solar, wind and water – set records in 2023, as well, with capacity additions increasing by 50% from 2022 for a total of 510 gigawatts. 

Scientists said renewable energy had become a focus of climate action because of its potential to achieve targets aimed at reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses.

Countries have set a goal of tripling global renewable energy capacity to 11,000 gigawatts by 2030.



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