The warmest year ever is, so far, 2023, globally. This is demonstrated by an extraordinarily alarming fact: for the sixth consecutive month, the planet reached the temperature record, surpassing the 2016 record. From June to November they were six exceptional months, with temperatures above the threshold every month, all over the globe.
These months have beaten previous records by a large margin and that the warmest year occurs during the ongoing El Nino year and not in the following one as usually happens. Record years are typically the year after El Nino develops.
But what is a heat wave?
A heat wave, in meteorology, is a period of atmospheric weather during which the temperature is unusually high compared to the average temperatures usually experienced in a given region, in that period and with characteristics of persistence.
In Europe, these summer heat waves are generally linked to the latitudinal movements of the African subtropical anticyclone which normally stays at subtropical latitudes, while in other areas of the world it is always the subtropical anticyclones that determine the heat waves with their movements.
Heat waves have become more frequent and intense in recent years due, according to scientists, to current global warming or they would be one of the ways in which this warming would manifest itself at a meteorological level, in the short term.
Often, but not always, the most intense heat waves are preceded by another mini heat wave, lasting a few days, which acts as a precursor to the second. Like severe cold waves, severe heat waves constitute a health risk, particularly for the elderly and children and people suffering from chronic diseases.
For the calendar year to date, January to November, the global average temperature for 2023 is the highest ever recorded, 1.46°C higher than the pre-industrial average of 1850-1900 and 0.13°C higher than eleven-month average of 2016.
Northern autumn September-November 2023 was the warmest on record globally. Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said: "2023 had a record-breaking six months and two record-breaking seasons.
November's extraordinary global temperatures, including two days 2ºC warmer than pre-industrial times, mean that 2023 It's the warmest year in recorded history."