Climate experts have issues a grim warning for Australians this summer, predicting that 2023 will be the hottest year on record.
So far this year, the world has experienced temperatures that are 0.1C degrees warmer than in 2016, which holds the record for the hottest year according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS).
Monthly records also continue to be broken according to the CCCS, with October’s average surface air temperature of 15.30C now 0.85C higher than the average of the past 30 years.
The new data has renewed the “sense of urgency for ambitious climate action” according to CCCS deputy director Samantha Burgess.
“October 2023 has seen exceptional temperature anomalies, following on from four months of global temperature records being obliterated,” Ms Burgess 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.”
Australia has just exited its warmest winter on record, with the national average temperature 1.53C above the long-term average.
The Bureau of Meteorology has echoed that warning, with their data suggesting that temperatures are “very likely to be above average for most of Australia” from November to January.
“November to January maximum and minimum temperatures are at least 2.5 times more likely than normal to be unusually high (in the top 20 per cent of the climatological record) for most of Australia,” the bureau reported.
It officially declared an El Nino event on September 19, meaning that high temperatures will be coupled with lower-than-average rainfall, offering little relief for sweltering Australians.
El Nino largely affects eastern Australia and brings dry weather as well as warmer-than-usual temperatures for the southern two-thirds of the country.
It also brings an increased risk of extreme heat across large parts of the country and increased bushfire danger in southeastern Australia.
This year’s heat track record coupled with El Nino means that Australians are at an increased risk of more heat events according to Melbourne University climate science senior lecturer Andrew King.
“The unusually hot weather we‘re seeing across southeast Australia at the moment is a warning of the kind of extremes we’re likely to see more of over the next few months,” Dr King said
“Coming on the back of consecutive La Nina events, this spring will likely be very different and we need to be prepared for more heat, drought and fire weather conditions.”
Originally published as ‘Obliterated’: Grim warning that Australia is in for hottest summer on record