Arabia Weather - For 12 consecutive months, the planet’s temperature rise has exceeded the 1.5 degree Celsius barrier, compared to the pre-industrial era, according to what the European Earth Observation Program “Copernicus” announced on Thursday, and scientists described it as a “warning to humanity.”
The Earth has seen storms, fires and droughts, contributed to by climate change exacerbated by El Niño, which will send temperatures soaring to record levels in 2023, likely making it the hottest year in nearly 100,000 years.
Copernicus confirmed that record temperature levels continued in 2024, as he explained that the period from February 2023 to January 2024 witnessed a temperature rise of 1.52 degrees Celsius above average temperatures in the nineteenth century.
Richard Bates, director of climate impact studies at the British National Meteorological Office, explained that “this does not mean that we have exceeded the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold set in the Paris Agreement” in 2015, which aims to try to stop the phenomenon of climate warming and its consequences. He pointed out that to achieve this goal, we must exceed this limit in a stable manner over decades.
In turn, Johan Rockström from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research emphasized: “We have reached the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold and we are seriously witnessing its impact, as societies suffer from its social and economic consequences.”
He explained, "The number 1.5 is very large and causes catastrophic effects in terms of heat waves, droughts, floods, storms, and water scarcity in various parts of the world, and this is what we have learned concretely during the year 2023."
Rockström added in a statement to Agence France-Presse: “This clearly constitutes a warning to humanity that we are moving more quickly than expected towards the 1.5 degree Celsius limit that was agreed upon,” noting that temperatures are likely to drop somewhat after the end of the year. El Niño phenomenon.
Copernicus reported that last month, January, was the hottest on record, and it is the eighth month in a row in which record temperatures were recorded. Temperatures were 1.66 degrees Celsius higher than estimates of average January temperatures during the period 1850-1900, the reference period before the Industrial Revolution.
“2024 starts with a record month, not only in that it was the warmest January on record, but also because we saw a 12-month period in which temperatures rose by 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Observatory. Above average temperatures before the Industrial Revolution.
Planet-warming emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, have continued to rise in recent years, while scientists say we need to cut them by about half this decade. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that the world may exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius mark in temperatures in the early 2030s.
“A succession of very hot years is bad news for both nature and the humans who feel their impacts,” Juri Rogelg, professor of climate science and policy at Imperial College London, told AFP.
He added: “If global emissions are not quickly reduced to zero, the world will soon exceed the safety limits set by the Paris Climate Agreement.”
The Copernicus Observatory indicated that temperatures in January were well above average in several regions of the world, including northwest Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, in addition to eastern Canada and southern Europe.
But it was below average in parts of northern Europe, western Canada and the central region of the United States.
While parts of the world saw record rainfall in January, large swathes of North America, the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula experienced drier conditions.
In Chile, which experienced a severe heat wave and drought, dry conditions caused forest fires, according to Copernicus.
These conditions continued until February, when fires that started over the weekend turned into a disaster in the coastal region of Valparaiso, killing more than 130 people.
The European Observatory noted that the El Niño phenomenon, which raises sea surface temperatures in the South Pacific leading to hotter weather events globally, has begun to weaken in the equatorial Pacific.
At the same time, sea surface temperatures continued to set records.
The oceans cover 70% of the planet's surface, and they play a vital role in preserving the health of the environment by absorbing 90% of the excess heat resulting from carbon pollution resulting from human activity since the dawn of the industrial age.
Warmer oceans mean more moisture in the atmosphere, leading to increasingly erratic weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy rain.
Source: news sites
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