UN sounds 'Red Alert' as world smashes heat records in 2023

March 20, 2024

The U.N. weather agency said in its annual State of the Global Climate report that average temperatures hit the highest level in 174 years of record-keeping by a clear margin, reaching 1.45 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. "The WMO community is sounding the Red Alert to the world," said WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo, who took over the job in January. Climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, coupled with the emergence of the natural El Nino climate pattern pushed the world into record territory in 2023. Ocean heat was concentrated in the North Atlantic with temperatures an average 3 degrees Celsius above average in late 2023, the report said. Warmer ocean temperatures affect delicate marine ecosystems and many fish species have fled north from this area seeking cooler temperatures.