There has never been a day like this before. The barrier established during the first Paris Agreement has been broken. The world may face irreversible changes.
Another inglorious record was broken on the ground. According to calculations by the Copernicus ECMWF institute subordinated to the European Commission, November 17 was the warmest day in history, considering the difference from the norm. The global average temperature was 1.17 °C higher than the temperature in 1991-2020.
Moreover, for the first time in history, the 2°C barrier was broken relative to the second decade of the 19th century – the difference was 2.06°C. Until recently, it was considered critical to global warming.
The climate summit will be held in Dubai in two weeks
As CNN notes, recording such a high average for the first time, even in the short term, comes at a significant time. The United Nations COP28 climate conference will start in Dubai in two weeks. This is where countries are supposed to take stock of their progress towards the Paris climate agreement.
It was the Paris Agreement of 2015 that established the point against which global warming is calculated. The average temperature from 1850 to 1900, i.e. before the greater development of the industrial era and the limited use of coal, oil and gas, was considered appropriate.
At that time, 2°C was considered a critical difference compared to the average from the second half of the 19th century. However, they were reduced only three years later. It is currently set at 1.5°C.
There are 66 percent chances of reaching a critical level within five years
So far, the warmest year on Earth was 2016 – the average temperature above the set point was 1.28°C. Since 2020, a study has also been conducted to determine the percentage of chances of reaching a critical level in the next five years.
“There are 66 percent. chances that global warming will reach the critical level of 1.5 degrees Celsius in 2027,” scientists from the World Meteorological Organization reported in May.
For comparison, the survey result during the first edition was 20%. A year later it was already at 50%.
The world is threatened by irreversible changes
“We are now really within range of temporarily exceeding an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius in average annual temperature, and for the first time in human history we are so close,” says the study’s author.
Moreover, the assumed 1.5°C above the norm is not the final critical point. As scientists emphasize, every fraction of a degree above this point will cause increasingly worse changes, and warming to 2°C will put the vast majority of the population at risk and lead to irreversible changes, such as the mass death of coral reefs.