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Sparks

Every Single Day of 2023 Was Extraordinarily Hot

Here are some more numbers from today’s big temperature announcement.

Extreme heat.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

You have almost certainly heard already that 2023 was, officially, the hottest year on record. That announcement came this morning from Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth data service.

There was another figure in that announcement, however, that caught my eye: 2023 was also the first year in which every single day was at least 1 degree Celsius hotter than the pre-industrial average.

Chart of 2023 daily average temperatures relative to pre-industrial average.

That is a marked contrast to 2022, our sixth hottest year on record, which had several days less than 1 degree above the pre-industrial average and a maximum temperature difference around half a degree lower than last year’s.

Chart of 2022 daily average temperatures relative to pre-industrial average.

Just for kicks, I decided to make the same chart for 1940, the earliest year represented in this particular dataset. As you will perhaps notice, I had to adjust the scale to account for temperatures below the pre-industrial average.

Chart of 2022 daily average temperatures relative to pre-industrial average.

The last time the global daily average temperature came in below the pre-industrial average, according to the Copernicus data, was October 8, 1992.

Jillian Goodman profile image

Jillian Goodman

Jillian is Heatmap's deputy editor. Before that, she was opinion editor at The Information and deputy editor at Bloomberg Green.

Sparks

The Electrolyzer Tech Business Is Booming

A couple major manufacturers just scored big sources of new capital.

Hysata.
Heatmap Illustration/Screenshot/YouTube

While the latest hydrogen hype cycle may be waning, investment in the fundamental technologies needed to power the green hydrogen economy is holding strong. This past week, two major players in the space secured significant funding: $100 million in credit financing for Massachusetts-based Electric Hydrogen and $111 million for the Australian startup Hysata’s Series B round. Both companies manufacture electrolyzers, the clean energy-powered devices that produce green hydrogen by splitting water molecules apart.

“There is greater clarity in the marketplace now generally about what's required, what it takes to build projects, what it takes to actually get product out there,” Patrick Molloy, a principal at the energy think tank RMI, told me. These investments show that the hydrogen industry is moving beyond the hubris and getting practical about scaling up, he said. “It bodes well for projects coming through the pipeline. It bodes well for the role and the value of this technology stream as we move towards deployment.”

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Green
Sparks

Biden Takes a Side in the Solar Industry’s Family Feud

The administration is expanding tariffs to include a type of solar modules popular in utility-scale installations.

Solar panels.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

The Biden administration continued its campaign to support domestic green energy manufacturing via trade policy on Thursday, this time by expanding existing solar panel tariffs to include the popular two-sided modules used in many utility-scale solar installations.

With this move, the Biden administration is decisively intervening in the solar industry’s raging feud on the side of the adolescent-but-quickly-maturing (thanks, in part, to generous government support) domestic solar manufacturing industry. On the other side is the more established solar development, installation, and financing industry, which tends to support the widespread availability of cheaper solar components, even if they come from China or Chinese-owned companies in Southeast Asia.

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Sparks

Vermont Is One Signature Away From a Climate Superfund

The state’s Republican governor has a decision to make.

Vermont flooding.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind attempt to make fossil fuel companies pay for climate damages is nearly through the finish line in Vermont. Both branches of the state legislature voted to pass the Climate Superfund Act last week, which would hit oil and gas companies with a bill for the costs of addressing, avoiding, and adapting to a world made warmer by oil and gas-related carbon emissions.

The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Phil Scott, who has not said whether he will sign it. If he vetoes it, however, there’s enough support in the legislature to override his decision, Martin LaLonde, a representative from South Burlington and lead sponsor of the bill, told me. “It's a matter of making sure everybody shows up,” he said.

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Blue