According to Coldiretti, there’s a very high likelihood that 2023 will be recorded as the hottest year ever, exceeding a 99% probability. This conclusion is based on forecasts from the Noaa database, which has been tracking global temperatures since 1850.
The Noaa data shows temperatures on land and in oceans were 1.15 degrees higher than the 20th-century average in the first eleven months of the year.
In Italy, a similar warming trend occured, with temperatures surpassing the historical average by 1.05 degrees during the same period.
Coldiretti points out that unusual temperature anomalies, reaching up to ten degrees in certain regions by the end of December, have disrupted the usual winter conditions. This could potentially harm crops by restarting flowering out of season.
This abnormal warmth not only disrupts natural processes but also raises concerns about the adverse impact on crops if there is a sudden drop in temperatures.
Risk of drought is alarming
Coldiretti says there is an alarming risk of drought, especially in central-southern Italy, where early signs of water stress are evident. The scarcity of snow in various Alpine and Apennine regions adds to this concern, sounding the alarm for potential agricultural challenges.
Moreover, the absence of cold temperatures might allow damaging insects affecting crops to survive and pose a threat in the upcoming spring.
Hottest years in last two centuries this decade
The ranking of the hottest years in the last two centuries is likely to change, particularly in Italy, with the last decade witnessing a shift. According to Coldiretti’s analysis, the current order is 2022, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2019, and 2020.
In 2023, climate anomalies in Italy have contributed to an average of over nine extreme weather events daily throughout the Peninsula. Hailstorms, tornadoes, water bombs, heatwaves, and windstorms have caused casualties and damages, according to Coldiretti’s analysis based on data from the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD).
The repercussions extend to a collapse in national harvests, endangering key components of the Mediterranean diet, with reductions of up to 20% for wine and 30% for peaches and nectarines.
Additionally, national extra virgin olive oil production is estimated at around 290,000 tons, well below the average of the last four years.
According to Coldiretti, the agricultural sector in Italy faces unprecedented challenges. The result is damages exceeding €6billion due to climate change.