2024 could be the year humanity crosses the 1.5°C mark for the first time


Planet Earth
Climate change is a major challenge facing humanity. And as such, it requires drastic measures, not patches.
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This year could be the first time that the average global surface temperature exceeds 1.5°C warmer than in the pre-industrial era, Britain’s Met Office said. This forecast is in line with a forecast made by the World Meteorological Organization in July last year when it confirmed that an El Niño phenomenon was developing.

“The onset of El Niño will greatly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and causing more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

On that occasion, the UK’s Met Office said that “for the first time, we expect a reasonable chance of a year temporarily exceeding 1.5°C”.

Met Office forecast
The Met Office predicts that the global average temperature in 2024 will be between 1.34 °C and 1.58 °C (with a central estimate of 1.46 °C) above the pre-industrial average.

in2015 Paris Agreement, officials around the world agreed to try to avoid global temperatures above 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Temporarily exceeding this limit does not constitute a breach of the agreement, although undoubtedly the first year with a global average temperature above 1.5°C will mean a milestone in the climatic history of our planet.

Exceeding 1.5°C

The ten warmest years on record were the last 10, and all indications are that 2024 could be added to the list in a year… at number one. It will not be the first time that temperatures above 1.5°C have been recorded on the planet, as there have been several months where record temperatures have been recorded above this value. But those are just months, not a calendar year. Since July 1998, they have exceeded it for more than 30 months, but always temporarily.

Cities of the future will have to do everything they can to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures. Nature-based solutions are a possible and economical option.

In 2023, the planet experienced the highest temperatures ever recorded. July, August, and September combined for the warmest quarter on record, and each of those months was the warmest July, August, and September on record.

July 2023 was 0.24°C warmer than any previous July recorded by NASA, making it the warmest month on record.

And much sooner than expected November 17 was the first day when the temperature anomaly exceeded 2°C, according to provisional data. If current trends continue, we are likely to permanently exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in the 2030s.. And if nothing changes in the landscape, we will permanently exceed 2 °C in the second half of the forties.

What is the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C warming?

Warming of 1.5°C or more will worsen the effects of heat, precipitation and drought. And starting from 1.5°C we will have every additional tenth of warming more extreme events and existing inequalities would deepen. In addition, the cost of adapting to higher temperatures increases exponentially.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a once-a-decade episode of extreme heat in a climate without human influence would occur 4 times per decade with 1.5°C warming and almost 6 times per decade with 2°C warming.

He will have this impact not only on health but also on productivity. In addition, a warmer atmosphere can also hold more moisture, leading to extreme rainfall increasing the risk of flooding. And this in turn increases evaporation, causing more intense drought.

climate adaptation
Humans have the potential to adapt to a new climate. Many animal and plant species will not do so and will be doomed to extinction.

Wildlife that has adapted to a stable climate over thousands of years would trying to survive the sudden rise in temperature. Simply put, this half degree of difference can determine a planet that is still suitable for humans from one that definitely won’t be.


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