Monday, July 15, 2024

Are we nearing the 1.5 C limit after a year of record-breaking global heat?

Global Warming Nears 1.5 C Limit, Alarming Experts

The latest data from the Copernicus climate research program has revealed that the global average temperature over the last 12 months has reached 1.64 C above pre-industrial levels. While this is not yet at the 1.5 C limit set in the 2015 Paris Agreement, it’s a clear indication that global warming is accelerating.

According to the European program, every month from July 2023 to June 2024 has been recorded as the hottest on record for that month, with each month reaching or surpassing 1.5 C above the pre-industrial average. This alarming trend is partly attributed to the natural El NiƱo weather pattern, which typically raises temperatures. However, experts are also highlighting additional factors beyond greenhouse gas emissions that may be contributing to the rapid increase in temperatures.

Zeke Hausfather, a scientist with Berkeley Earth, emphasized that the recent rise in temperatures aligns with their climate models’ predictions, indicating a concerning acceleration in global warming over the past 15 years. The reduction of planet-cooling aerosol emissions, such as sulfur dioxide, alongside the continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions, is believed to be driving this warming trend.

Furthermore, the impact of removing these aerosols from the atmosphere is being closely examined by scientists, as it may be exacerbating the warming effect. Climate scientist Bill Merryfield from Environment and Climate Change Canada pointed out the need to investigate the potential consequences of these regulatory changes on long-term climate change.

While crossing the 1.5 C threshold on a monthly basis is alarming, it has profound implications for climate-related disasters like storms, floods, and extreme heat worldwide. However, experts note that this differs from the long-term shift in average temperatures outlined in the Paris Agreement. The potential consequences of exceeding the 1.5 C threshold, such as sea-level rise and triggering climate tipping points, are significant and require immediate action to mitigate.

Overall, the data highlights the urgency for global efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change effectively. With the World Meteorological Organization warning that there is an 80 percent chance of surpassing the 1.5 C mark between 2024 and 2028, the need for proactive measures to address this escalating crisis is more critical than ever.

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