Still hope but global temperature rise is worrying

 In Climate Change, Education, News

The latest figures on global warming make grim reading, admits Midlands energy expert Ron Fox.

For the first time world temperature increases have exceeded 1.5C across an entire year, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Previously, the global average surface temperature rise had passed 1.5C for a month, but never for as long as a year.

According to the Climate Change Service, the period from February 2023 to January 2024 reached 1.52C of warming with last month the hottest January on record at 13.14C on average globally, the eighth warmest month in a row.

To add to the problem, the world’s sea surface is also at its highest ever recorded average figure, even though ocean temperatures don’t normally peak for at least another month.

“It is ironic to see these statistics only just over eight years since leaders of nearly 200 countries promised at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015 to try to limit the long-term temperature rise to the crucial figure of 1.5C,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd, which is based at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park.

“Although one year’s set of figures don’t break the landmark agreement, we’ve already seen the danger signs with floods, droughts, heatwaves and wildfires all over the world in the last 12 months,” he added.

The Paris deal’s goal will be considered to have missed only when temperatures have been 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for about two decades.

Limiting long-term warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – before humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels – has become a key symbol of international efforts to tackle climate change.

Ron added that rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures increasing.

What is worrying, he said, is that the two main UK political parties are sending out the wrong message at this crucial time when many climate scientists say more efforts are needed globally if the worst impacts of warming are to be avoided.

The Labour Party is ditching its policy of spending £28bn a year on its green investment plan in a major U-turn while the Conservatives also pushed back on some key targets last September.

However, Ron said there was still some good news as the world has made good progress with green technologies like renewables and electric vehicles booming in many countries.

This has helped to ensure that climate change won’t spin out of control and that the very worst-case scenarios of 4C warming or more this century, which was thought possible ten years ago, is now considered much less likely.

And even more encouragingly, it is still thought that the world will more or less stop warming up once net zero carbon emissions are reached. This decade is seen as particularly crucial to ensuring emissions are halved on the way to that target.

For advice on what you can do to help slow down global warming contact Ron Fox, on 01782 756995.

Caption: Worrying figures as for the first time, world temperature increases have exceeded 1.5C across an entire year.

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