Annual state of Climate Report

Annual state of Climate Report

News: The new annual State of the Climate report, published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) found that 2023 was the hottest year on record.

 Numerous records for indicators of the climate system, including greenhouse gas levels (GHGs), surface temperatures, ocean heat, sea level rise, Antarctic sea ice cover, glacier retreat, etc., were broken, the report added.

How have indicators changed over time and what do they reflect about planet’s current state?
Greenhouse Gases
 The unprecedented levels of GHGs in the atmosphere are the main culprit behind the rapid warming of the planet. 
 Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide trap the incoming solar 
radiation in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. 
 The concentration of aforementioned GHGs reached record-high observed 
levels in 2022.
Surface Temperature
 The global average near surface temperature for 2023 spiked to 1.45 degree Celsius — the highest ever on record — above the pre-industrial levels. Ocean Heat content
 As the oceans have absorbed nearly 90 per cent of the extra heat trapped by 
GHGs since 1971, they steadily become warmer and their heat content has increased.
 In 2023, the ocean heat content (OHC) — the total amount of heat stored by the oceans — reached its highest level in the 65-year observational record, according to the report.
Marine Heat Waves
 Due to warmer temperatures, the global ocean experienced an average daily marine heatwave (MHWs) coverage of 32%, well above the previous record of 23% in 2016, the report added. 
 MHWs occur when the surface temperature of a particular region of the sea rises to 3 or 4 degree Celsius above the average temperature for at least five days.
Antarctic Sea-Ice Extent
 Antarctic sea-ice extent plummeted to 1.79 million km2 in February 2023 — a new record low since the satellite era began in 1979. The extent remained at a record low for the time of year from June till early November, according to the WMO report.
 In the hydrological year 2022-2023, the global set of reference glaciers suffered the largest loss of ice on record. Glaciers in North America and Europe were particularly impacted.
 According to the WMO report, the annual mass balance — the amount of mass gained or lost by the glacier and expressed in metres of water equivalent (m w.e.) — of the reference glaciers dropped to a new low in 2022-2023, which was –1.2 m w.e.

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