2023 was the hottest year ever – the world is on red alert

The World Meteorological Organisation leaves no doubt – the consequences of rising temperatures are increasingly felt around the world, and Europe is no exception.

2023 was the hottest year on record, with data from the WMO and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service showing that Europe is in fact the fastest warming continent, with temperatures rising twice as fast as the global average.

The three warmest years on our history have all occurred since 2020, and the 10 warmest have occurred since 2007.

“How does this translate into reality? Last year saw more frequent heatwaves and devastating wildfires, as well as flash floods and droughts. Heat is also taking a toll on biodiversity and even our health, with more and more heat-related deaths being reported around the world,” said WMO Secretary General, Celeste Saulo. “The WMO community is issuing a red alert to the world,” she added.

As she emphasised in her speech, climate change “is much more than temperature” and everything we witnessed in 2023 is “a cause for particular concern.”

Saulo had no doubt that the climate crisis was the most important challenge facing humanity. “It is closely linked to the inequality crisis, as evidenced by growing food insecurity and population displacement and biodiversity loss,” she said.

However, she and other experts still see a ray of hope provided by renewable energy. In 2023, the increase in power from such renewable sources increased by almost half compared to 2022.

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