Globally, 2023 was a year of extremes. Here we present a selection of extreme events from around the world.


January in Auckland, New Zealand was its wettest month recorded with 27th January its wettest day on record causing catastrophic flooding, as an atmospheric river lay stationary over the region.


Tropical Cyclone Freddy was declared the longest lasting and most energetic tropical cyclone ever seen, resulting in over 1400 deaths in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique.


A heatwave over South America resulted in record-breaking March temperatures for locations in Argentina and Uruguay, with the region already in the grip of the worst drought seen in 60 years.


Multiple Southeast Asian countries including China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos broke all-time temperature records in an April heatwave that affected 30% of the global population and that was made 30 times more likely by climate change according to World Weather Attribution.


After five failed rainy seasons, May saw flash flooding across Somalia and Ethiopia displacing over 250,000 people. Remarkably, the devastating rains were not sufficient to break the prolonged drought. Two-and- a-half million people were affected as flooding continued throughout the year, with significant impacts also seen in October.


Canada’s wildfire season was unprecedented with 18.4 million hectares burnt, the largest area burned in the country’s history and more than 2.5 times the previous record12. Over 75 million people were subjected to poor air quality due to the record emissions from the fires.


The Cerberus heatwave over Europe contributed to many national and global temperature records tumbling in July, the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, with marine heatwaves experienced in both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.


In August, abnormally dry conditions and strong winds contributed to significant wildfires across large parts of Maui in Hawaii, which with nearly 100 casualties became the deadliest US wildfire since 1918.


Over 4000 people died when the deadliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone in history, Storm Daniel, brought heavy rains, dam collapses and flooding to Libya.


Hurricane Otis was the strongest Pacific hurricane to ever make landfall when it devastated Acapulco, Mexico in October22. Meanwhile, the lowest October rainfall on record contributed to 2023 being the second driest year since records began over the Panama Canal. Reductions in shipping capacity through this critical trade route have been necessary.


November saw Brazil record its hottest ever temperature during an intense heatwave that placed record pressure on the energy grid. High temperatures, combined with high humidity, resulted in “feels like” temperatures of nearly 60°C.


Minimum temperature records were set throughout China in December as a cold wave swept the country. Meanwhile, southern India suffered through severe flooding as heavy rain lashed the state of Tamil Nadu.