Scientists explain why the record-shattering 2023 heat has them on edge. Warming may be worsening

Scientists explain why the record-shattering 2023 heat has them on edge. Warming may be worsening

The latest calculations from several science agencies showing Earth obliterated global heat records last year may seem scary. But scientists worry that what’s behind those numbers could be even worse.

The Associated Press asked more than three dozen scientists in interviews and emails what the smashed records mean. Most said they fear acceleration of climate change that is already right at the edge of the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) increase since pre-industrial times that nations had hoped to stay within.

“The heat over the last calendar year was a dramatic message from Mother Nature,” said University of Arizona climate scientist Katharine Jacobs. Scientists say warming air and water is making deadly and costly heat waves, floods, droughts, storms and wildfires more intense and more likely.

This last year was a doozy.

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