Global warming: for the first time, the planet’s temperature exceeds 1.5°C and 2024 will be the hottest in history

The 2015 Paris Agreement made virtually all countries on the planet commit to taking all necessary measures to prevent the Earth’s average annual temperature from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era. The temperature of the pre-industrial era is taken to be the average recorded between 1850 and 1900. Since this Wednesday we know that the promise was broken.

Data released Wednesday by the European Copernicus Observatory show that from February 2023 to January 2024, the planet’s average temperature was 1.52 degrees higher than the industrial era after again breaking the record for the hottest January in January. since there are records.

La gente se refresca en Messina, Sicilia. Foto: GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP

People cool off in Messina, Sicily. Photo: GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP

What Copernicus’ data says is that during the last 12 months the average air temperature on the Earth’s surface was more than 1.5 degrees higher than the average for that period in the second half of the 19th century.

Experts explain that technically we can only say that the temperature is more than 1.5 degrees higher than that of the pre-industrial era when several decades are added to these records, which is not enough with just one year.

But the data and forecasts ensure that in the coming years and decades the temperature will increase, although all the necessary measures are already taken to contain this rise, so the increase will be official in a matter of years.

Data from recent decades show a continuous upward evolution of temperatures. Taking as a reference the last month, this January 2024 in which the average air temperature on the earth’s surface was 13.14 degrees, it is already 0.70 degrees higher than the average of the period between 1990 and 2020 and 1 .66 degrees above the average of the five decades of the pre-industrial era taken as a reference, from 1850 to 1900.

January, another record month

January, remembers Copernicus, is the eighth consecutive month that breaks temperature records, for which there are reliable records for almost the entire planet since the beginning of the 19th century.

Con los pies en el agua, en Croacia. Foto: Denis LOVROVIC / AFP

With your feet in the water, in Croatia. Photo: Denis LOVROVIC / AFP

Copernicus highlights the heat waves in Latin America, which led to several fires, and the exceptionally hot temperatures in European countries in the Mediterranean, especially Spain and France.

The Spanish spent a few weeks at the end of January as if they were late spring or early summer. It was also an exceptionally hot month in Canada, central Africa, the Middle East and much of the United States.

Sea data show the same behavior. The surface of the oceans had an average temperature in January of 20.97 degrees, the second year with the warmest sea since there are records, only behind last year. The European agency reminds that the only way to stop the increase in global temperatures is to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Las olas de calor dieron pie a varios incendios. Foto: Spyros BAKALIS / AFP

The heat waves started several fires. Photo: Spyros BAKALIS / AFP

The European Commission proposed this Tuesday to the bloc’s governments to reduce them by 90% by 2040 compared to 1990 emissions. But, even if it were able to do so, there are many doubts about the pace of implementation of renewable energies and of fossil abandonment, it would in any case be the only region on the planet that followed that path.

2024, the hottest year in history

The rest would lag behind, so the global average temperature would continue to rise. 2024 will be, with a probability of 99% according to the US agency dedicated to oceanic and atmospheric observation (NOAA), the hottest year in history.

The ‘El Niño’ climate phenomenon, a naturally occurring event, also helps increase temperatures, but scientists estimate that it adds at most 0.2 degrees. Most of the increase is due, the United Nations panel of experts estimates, to human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels.

Source: Idafe Martín para Clarín


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