The GuardianThe Guardian

‘Off-the-charts records’: Has humanity finally broken the climate?

By Damian Carrington, Nina Lakhani, Oliver Milman , Adam Morton, Ajit Niranjan and Jonathan Watts

28 Aug 2023 · 11 min read

informed Summary

  1. The extreme weather events of 2023, including record-breaking heatwaves, wildfires, and floods, have raised concerns about whether the climate crisis has entered a new phase of destruction. However, 45 leading climate scientists consulted by The Guardian have stated that the global heating seen to date aligns with scientific predictions made over the past three decades.

The record-shattering heatwaves, wildfires and floods destroying lives in the US, Europe, India, China and beyond in 2023 have raised an alarming question: have humanity’s relentless carbon emissions finally pushed the climate crisis into a new and accelerating phase of destruction?

The issue is being strongly debated, with accusations of doom-mongering being countered with charges of complacency. The answer matters: how bad is it, and how can we limit the damage? To find out, the Guardian asked 45 leading climate scientists from around the world. We also asked the equally vital question of whether extreme weather events were hitting people faster and harder than expected.

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