The global average temperature exceeded the pre-industrial seasonal average by more than two degrees for the first time on Friday. As the European earth observation program Copernicus announced on Monday, citing preliminary data, the global average temperature on November 17th was 2.06 degrees above the seasonal average temperatures in the years 1850 to 1900.

“This is the first day on which the global temperature was more than two degrees higher,” wrote Copernicus climate expert Samantha Burgess on the online service X (formerly Twitter). This finding fuels fears that the international community will not be able to meet the climate protection goals it has set itself.

In the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 it was agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees, but if possible 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era. However, this does not look at warming on individual days, but at warming over several years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in 2018 that global warming must be determined over a 30-year period.

Compared to the period 1850 to 1900, the earth has already warmed by around 1.2 degrees. Climate change is leading to a global increase and intensification of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and heavy rain.

A number of heat records have already been set this year. According to Copernicus, the months of June to October were the hottest worldwide since records began. In October the temperatures were 1.7 degrees higher than the October temperatures in the period 1850 to 1900. The European earth observation program expects with “almost complete certainty” that the global average temperatures in 2023 will exceed those of the previous record year 2016.

The acceleration of global warming and its consequences are putting pressure on the negotiating delegations at the World Climate Conference in Dubai (COP28). From November 30th to December 12th, measures to combat the climate crisis will be discussed there.