A pair of individuals observe the setting sun in Kansas City, Missouri, during a scorching heat wave that hit the Midwestern region in the month of August.
By Chelsea Harvey
On Thursday, a study conducted by Climate Central, a nonprofit organization focusing on climate science and communication, was published.
The impressive scores were highlighted by a distinct study released this week by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. It revealed that October was the hottest month on record worldwide, with temperatures approximately 0.85 C (over 1.5 F) higher than the average monthly temperature.
Collectively, the results present a bleak outlook on humanity’s advancements in achieving the temperature goals outlined in the Paris climate accord. Despite efforts from world leaders, keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius is becoming increasingly challenging, according to specialists.
Additionally, the analysis by Climate Central revealed that nearly every area of the world will experience impacts.
Researchers studied temperature data from 175 countries to understand current conditions on Earth. Their analysis revealed that 170 countries had higher-than-average temperatures throughout the course of the year, with only Iceland and Lesotho experiencing cooler-than-average temperatures.
The scientists utilized attribution science, a unique method of analysis, to examine the impact of human-induced climate change on global temperatures. This analysis utilized computer models to simulate the world with and without global warming, providing insight into the role of climate change in specific heat events.
According to their findings, Jamaica’s temperatures were greatly impacted by climate change in the past year. The prevalence of heat there was approximately 4.5 times higher as a result of global warming. Similarly, Guatemala and Rwanda experienced at least a four-fold increase in temperatures due to climate change.
The study revealed that approximately 7.3 billion individuals all over the world, which accounts for 90% of the world’s population, have encountered at least 10 days with temperatures that were increased by global warming at least three times.
The study found that numerous areas across the globe had prolonged periods of high temperatures. Approximately 2.1 billion individuals worldwide encountered a minimum of five successive days of extreme heat, which is equivalent to temperatures that are uncommon in that specific location.
The scientists studied periods of extreme heat in 700 major cities globally. Out of these, 156 cities, including 12 in the US, mostly in the South and Southwest, had streaks of five or more days. Houston had the longest streak, lasting 22 days.
Although concerning, these patterns will most likely be surpassed in the future years and decades.
According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, it has been determined that 2023 will most likely be the warmest year on record. There is uncertainty regarding whether it will surpass the 12-month temperature range identified in the Climate Central analysis, but it is expected to be the warmest period ever recorded between January and December.
The current record is jointly held by 2020 and 2016, as previous analyses indicate that they were equally the warmest years on record.
This report was initially published in E&E News’ Climatewire.
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