This year is on track to be the warmest on record. The EU climate change service Copernicus announced this on Thursday.

The unusually warm September after a summer with record temperatures was the deciding factor, the statement said. The average temperatures in 2023 have so far been 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. That is only 0.1 degrees below the 1.5 degrees set as the climate target of the Paris Climate Agreement, which should not be exceeded in the long term by the end of the century. In September it was 1.75 degrees higher than in the pre-industrial reference period from 1850 to 1900.

September of this year was not only the warmest ever recorded globally, the statement continued. With an average of 0.93 degrees above the reference period from 1991 to 2022, the temperatures were also the strongest swing ever recorded in a month. “Two months before COP 28, the sense of urgency for ambitious climate action has never been more important,” said Copernicus deputy chief Samantha Burgess, according to the statement.

Sea ice and precipitation

There was also a negative record in September for the extent of Antarctic sea ice. It remained at a historic low, nine percent below the average for the reference period from 1991 to 2020. In the Arctic, sea ice extent was the fifth lowest in September.

When it comes to precipitation, the picture in September was mixed. While large parts of Western Europe received more rain than usual and there were even floods in Greece and Libya as a result of Storm Daniel, other parts of Europe, the USA, Mexico, Central Asia and Australia recorded the driest September on record.

The European Union’s climate change service Copernicus regularly publishes data on surface temperature, sea ice cover and precipitation data. The findings are based on computer-generated analyzes that incorporate billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world.