List of years in climate change
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This article documents events, research findings, scientific and technological advances, and human actions to measure, predict, mitigate, and adapt to the effects of global warming and climate change—during the year 2023.

Summaries

2023 saw the highest global average surface temperature in recorded history.[1]
Global boiling has arrived

     Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.

António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General[2]
27 July 2023

Schematic overview on the central role of the Earth heat inventory and its linkages.[3]

Measurements and statistics

"Vital Signs of the Planet" as presented by NASA on 31 December 2023[9]
2023's June-July-August season was the warmest on record globally by a large margin, as El Niño conditions continued to develop.[16]
September 2023 was the warmest September on record globally, with an average surface air temperature 0.5 °C above the temperature of the previous warmest September (2020).[17]

Natural events and phenomena

Reporting on the reduced Antarctic sea ice extent in mid 2023, researchers concluded that a "regime shift" may be taking place "in which previously important relationships no longer dominate sea ice variability".[42]
The area burned by the 2023 Canadian wildfires was more than twice that of any prior year of record.[43]

Actions, and goal statements

Science and technology

Political, economic, legal, and cultural actions

Phasedown of fossil fuels

     The phasedown of fossil fuels is inevitable. The speed at which this happens depends on how quickly we can phase up zero carbon alternatives, while ensuring energy security, accessibility and affordability.

Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, COP28 President
and CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company[64]
June 2023

Joint action is essential for planetary and human health

     Over 200 health journals call on the United Nations, political leaders, and health professionals to recognise that climate change and biodiversity loss are one indivisible crisis and must be tackled together to preserve health and avoid catastrophe. This overall environmental crisis is now so severe as to be a global health emergency.

The BMJ medical journal[80]
October 2023

2023 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28)

     The Conference of the Parties... calls on Parties to contribute to the following global efforts:

     (a) Tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030;
     (d) Transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science;

— Outcome of the first global stocktake, COP28[93]
13 December 2023

Mitigation goal statements

A rapidly narrowing window

     Key finding 4: global emissions are not in line with modelled global mitigation pathways consistent with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, and there is a rapidly narrowing window to raise ambition and implement existing commitments in order to limit warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

—U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change[97]
8 September 2023

Adaptation goal statements

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2023)

Consensus

Projections

Projections for different amounts of global warming: Melting of glacial mass, sea level rise, and loss of number of glaciers.[102]

      The consequences of (sea level rise) are unthinkable. Low-lying communities and entire countries could disappear forever. We would witness a mass exodus of entire populations on a biblical scale.

António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General[103]
14 February 2023

Energy transition gathers pace

      The adoption of tighter efficiency standards by regulators, structural changes to the economy and the ever-accelerating penetration of EVs are expected to powerfully moderate annual growth in oil demand throughout the (2023–2028) forecast.

—International Energy Agency (IEA)[119]
14 June 2023

Regions and population densities exposed to unprecedented heat at different levels of global warming.[121]

Significant publications

Observed Changes and Impacts

     Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people (high confidence). Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected (high confidence).

—"Headline Statement A2" in the AR6 Synthesis Report[133]

Entering uncharted territory

     We warn of potential collapse of natural and socioeconomic systems in such a world where we will face unbearable heat, frequent extreme weather events, food and fresh water shortages, rising seas, more emerging diseases, and increased social unrest and geopolitical conflict.

—2023 State of the Climate Report[7]
15,000 scientist signatories, 24 October 2023

Notes

  1. ^ Cislak et al. define National Narcissism as "a belief that one’s national group is exceptional and deserves external recognition underlain by unsatisfied psychological needs".
  2. ^ Cislak et al. define Secure National Identification as "reflect(ing) feelings of strong bonds and solidarity with one's ingroup members, and sense of satisfaction in group membership".

See also

References

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Organizations

Surveys, summaries and report lists