`2023 Is the Hottest Year on Record; 2024 Will Likely Be Hotter - Olive Oil Times

2023 Is the Hottest Year on Record; 2024 Will Likely Be Hotter

By Daniel Dawson
Dec. 3, 2023 17:10 UTC

Spurred on by the devel­op­ment of El Niño, 2023 is the hottest year ever recorded, accord­ing to the lat­est report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The WMO report indi­cated that the aver­age global tem­per­a­ture in 2023 was 1.40 ºC above the pre-indus­trial aver­age, eclips­ing the pre­vi­ous tem­per­a­ture records set in 2016, also an El Niño year, and 2020.

We can­not return to the cli­mate of the 20th cen­tury, but we must act now to limit the risks of an increas­ingly inhos­pitable cli­mate in this and the com­ing cen­turies.- Petteri Taalas, sec­re­tary-gen­eral, WMO

In 2016 and 2020, global mean tem­per­a­tures exceeded the pre-indus­trial aver­age by 1.29 ºC and 1.27 ºC, respec­tively.

The report also high­lighted how the nine years between 2015 and 2023 were the warmest on record. Furthermore, record-high monthly tem­per­a­tures were reg­is­tered in June, July, August, September and October 2023. According to the WMO, July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded.

See Also:Insurance Needs for Olive Growers Change with Climate

I’m not aware of a sim­i­lar period when all parts of the cli­mate sys­tem were in record-break­ing or abnor­mal ter­ri­tory,” Thomas Smith, an envi­ron­men­tal geo­g­ra­pher at the London School of Economics, told the BBC.

These are more than just sta­tis­tics,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas added. We risk los­ing the race to save our glac­i­ers and to rein in sea level rise. We can­not return to the cli­mate of the 20th cen­tury, but we must act now to limit the risks of an increas­ingly inhos­pitable cli­mate in this and the com­ing cen­turies.”

The WMO said the emer­gence of El Niño in the Northern Hemisphere – where most of Earth’s land-cov­ered sur­face area is located – dur­ing the spring of 2023 con­tributed to the record aver­age tem­per­a­tures.

The orga­ni­za­tion fur­ther warned that the nat­ural phe­nom­e­non, which typ­i­cally has the most sig­nif­i­cant impact on global tem­per­a­tures after it peaks, would fur­ther fuel above-aver­age global tem­per­a­tures into 2024.

According to the WMO, the impact of El Niño is exac­er­bat­ing a pre-exist­ing trend of warm­ing caused by anthro­pogenic cli­mate change.

The orga­ni­za­tion said lev­els of car­bon diox­ide, a long-lived green­house gas, are 50 per­cent higher than the pre-indus­trial aver­age. As their name sug­gests, green­house gases trap heat in the atmos­phere and pre­vent it from escap­ing into space.

The Mediterranean basin, respon­si­ble for about 95 per­cent of global olive oil pro­duc­tion, was par­tic­u­larly impacted by both record heat and extreme weather events, with tem­per­a­tures in Italy reach­ing 48.2 °C, and record-high tem­per­a­tures reported in Tunisia (49.0 °C), Morocco (50.4 °C) and Algeria (49.2 °C).

See Also:Record Temperatures Will Threaten Global Food Supply, Scientists Warn

Furthermore, tor­ren­tial rain­fall resulted in flood­ing and dam­age to olive groves in Greece, Turkey and Libya, which also suf­fered a heavy loss of life.

This year’s record tem­per­a­tures may also impact olive oil pro­duc­tion in the 2024/25 crop year, with glac­i­ers in the European Alps expe­ri­enc­ing an extreme melt from which they are unlikely to recover in the win­ter.

Melting snow­pack from the Alps in the spring is one of the sources of water upon which north­ern Italian and French olive grow­ers rely, espe­cially as spring sea­sons become hot­ter and drier. The same is true for grow­ers in California with the Sierra Nevada.

Publication of the WMO report coin­cided with the start of the 28th edi­tion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates and is expected to influ­ence the dis­cus­sion over the urgency to reduce green­house gas emis­sions and find ways to adapt to cli­mate change.

This year, we have seen com­mu­ni­ties around the world pounded by fires, floods and sear­ing tem­per­a­tures,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Record global heat should send shiv­ers down the spines of world lead­ers.”

We have the roadmap to limit the rise in global tem­per­a­ture to 1.5 °C and avoid the worst of cli­mate chaos,” he added. But we need lead­ers to fire the start­ing gun at COP28 on a race to keep the 1.5‑degree limit alive.”


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