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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.


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