Data from the report shows record extremes for temperature and ice loss.
A global team of climate scientists has reported that Earth’s vital signs have worsened beyond anything humans have seen, to the point that life on Earth is imperilled.
In a paper published today in Bioscience, the 12 international scientists have shown that 20 of 35 identified planetary vital signs are at record extremes. They also outline policies needed to address the underlying issue of “ecological overshoot”.
Among the key numbers in the report:
- Fossil fuel subsidies roughly doubled between 2021 and 2022 globally, from $US531 billion to just over $US1 trillion.
- This year Canadian wildfires have pumped more than 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, greater than Canada’s total 2021 greenhouse emissions.
- In 2023, there have already been 38 days with global average temperatures more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- The highest average Earth surface temperature ever recorded was in July, and there’s reason to believe it was the highest surface temperature the planet has seen in the last 100,000 years.
Dr Thomas Newsome from the Global Ecology Lab in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney is the only Australian co-author of the study, “The 2023 State of the Climate Report: Entering uncharted territory”.
He said: “The trends indicate the need to drastically speed and scale up efforts globally to combat climate change while more generally reducing our ecological footprint.”