UN: 2023 set absolute temperature record, but 2024 could be even hotter

Sofiia Telishevska

The last ten years were the hottest decade since climate records began, the United Nations said. Last year, 2023, set an absolute temperature record, but 2024 may be even hotter.

This is stated in the report published by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The average global air temperature near the Earthʼs surface last year was 1.45 degrees Celsius higher than in the pre-industrial era. Thus, the world is closer than ever to the 1.5 degrees mark, which is exactly where, in the best case, it was planned to stop global warming according to the Paris Agreement of 2015. In the worst case, it was about two degrees.

Climate warming in 2023 led to a record reduction in the area of glaciers. This is most noticeable in Europe and North America — yes, the area of Switzerlandʼs glaciers has decreased by 10% over the past two years. In addition, WMO experts recorded several heat waves last year that passed through 90% of the worldʼs oceans — this threatens coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

"Never before have we been so close to the lower limit of global warming set by the Paris Agreement," said WMO chief Celeste Saulo. According to her, the organizationʼs report should be a "red warning signal for the whole world."

  • Earlier, scientists warned that there is bad news for humanity — the large-scale system of the Atlantic ocean currents is fast approaching collapse. It is she who distributes energy around the Earth and modulates the impact of global warming caused by human activity.
  • In the summer of 2023, the oceans were already warming to a record level. This has accelerated the melting of the glaciers because the warmer water absorbs less carbon dioxide and the planet heats up more.