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November breaks heat record for sixth straight month

A jet takes flight from Sky Harbor International Airport as the sun sets over Phoenix, (AP)
A jet takes flight from Sky Harbor International Airport as the sun sets over Phoenix, (AP)

November set a new monthly record for heat – the sixth month in a row which has beaten previous records.

With only weeks remaining, 2023 is on course to smash the record for hottest year.

November was nearly a third of a degree Celsius hotter than the previous hottest November, the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said on Wednesday.

The month was 1.75C warmer than pre-industrial times, tying October and behind September for the hottest above average for any month.

COP28 Climate Hot November
A man sunbathes in high temperatures in Marseille, southern France (AP)

“The last half year has truly been shocking,” said Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess. “Scientists are running out of adjectives to describe this.”

November averaged 14.22C, 0.85 degrees warmer than the average in the last 30 years.

So far this year, it is 1.46C warmer than pre-industrial times, about a seventh of a degree warmer than the previous warmest year of 2016, Copernicus scientists calculated.

Copernicus records go back to 1940, while United States government calculated records go back to 1850.

Scientists, using proxies such as ice cores, tree rings and corals, have said this is the warmest decade Earth has seen in about 125,000 years, and the last few months have been the hottest of the last decade.

Scientists say the driving forces behind the six straight record hottest months are human-caused climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas, and the natural El Nino-La Nina cycle is like jumping up or down on that escalator.

The world is in a potent El Nino, a temporary warming of parts of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide and adds to global temperatures already spiked by climate change.

“It’s only going to get warmer as long as the world keeps pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” said Ms Burgess, who warned that means “catastrophic floods, fires, heatwaves, droughts will continue”.