NEWS & INSIGHTS

Warning: Global 1.5C Temperature Limit About to Be Breached for the First Time

There is currently a 66% chance that we will exceed the 1.5C global warming key limit between now and 2027, according to researchers.

Scientists had warned the 1.5C threshold would see far greater consequences of global warming, including longer heatwaves, more intense storms and wildfires.

If the threshold is reached, fossil fuel emissions from industrialisation will have upped global temperatures by 1.5C, researchers believe.

They also say human-caused emissions and the likelihood of an El Niño weather pattern later this year are increasing the likelihood of the breach.

Scientists stress that, even though it would be alarming, passing the threshold will only probably only last a short time.

If the threshold is reached, fossil fuel emissions from industrialisation will have increased by 1.5C since the second half of the 19th Century, when they first started to significantly increase.

Furthermore, exceeding the limit even for a single year is a concerning indication that global warming is accelerating rather than slowing.

Researchers however have stated that passing the level in one of the next few years is not irreversible. In fact, climate change experts believe there is still time to restrict global warming by cutting emissions sharply.

“We really are now within reach of a temporary exceedance of 1.5C for the annual mean temperature, and that’s the first time in human history we’ve been that close,” said Prof Adam Scaife, head of long range forecasts at the Met Office, who compile the data from weather and climate agencies around the world.

The change is also impacted by El Niño, a global weather phenomenon that brings extra heat to the Pacific ocean that heats up global temperatures.

Our solution

News that we are likely to exceed a key climate limit to our safety is alarming.

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