Earth’s temperature has risen more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. We have thus crossed a key threshold that scientists have been warning about for decades, as it may have a catastrophic and irreversible impact on our planet and its ecosystems.
Samantha Burgess, a researcher at the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), announced on social media that on Friday, November 17, we exceeded the warming threshold by two degrees Celsius.
“Friday was the first day on which the global temperature was more than 2 degrees Celsius above the level in 1850-1900 (or the pre-industrial period) and amounted to 2.06 degrees Celsius,” she wrote. She added that the average global temperature on Friday was 1.17 degrees above 1991-2020 levels, making it the warmest November 17 day on record. But compared to pre-industrial times, before humans began burning fossil fuels on a large scale and changing the Earth’s natural climate, the temperature was 2.06 degrees higher.
The threshold was exceeded only temporarily and does not mean that the world is in a state of permanent warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius. However, this is a sign that our planet is getting hotter. According to the expert, the climate crisis may be impossible to reverse.
“One day with warming above 2 degrees does not mean that the Paris Agreement has been violated,” Burgess said in an interview with CNN. – However, we are approaching these internationally agreed limits. In the coming months and years, we can expect that there will be more and more such days, she added.
The Copernicus data is preliminary and will require weeks to be confirmed with real observations.
The exceedance of 2 degrees on Friday occurred a few weeks before the start of the United Nations (UN) COP28 climate conference in Dubai. There, countries will take stock of their progress towards meeting the Paris commitment to limit global warming to 2 degrees, with the ambition to limit it to 1.5 degrees.
According to the UN’s “Emissions Gap 2023” analysis published on Monday, countries’ commitments are insufficient to limit the global temperature increase to the threshold of 1.5 degrees. If these commitments remain unchanged, global temperatures will increase by 2.5-2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.
How can a temperature increase of 3 degrees Celsius affect the natural environment and people? Scientists predict that because of it, the world may exceed several catastrophic tipping points: from the uncontrolled melting of the ice cap to the drying up of the Amazon rainforest.
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