Global temperature exceeds 2°C limit for the first time
Recent analyses suggest the global average temperature rose to two degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels for the first time. Recent data from the European Union’s Climate Change Service (C3S) indicate an increase of 2.07°C above the pre-industrial average. As a result, 2023 is likely to become the hottest year in history.
Many scientists have been developing ways to reverse climate change and provide a sustainable future. However, it seems global warming will worsen before these innovations reverse trends. In response, we should understand the potential effects of unprecedented heat so that we can adjust accordingly.
This article will discuss the recent global temperature data. Later, I will explain its potential effects and how we could mitigate these risks.
What are the latest global temperature findings?
Samantha Burgess, C3S Deputy Head on the X social media platform, said, “This was the first day when global temperature was more than 2°C above 1850 to 1900 levels.” ScienceAlert says the record started on November 17, 2023, Friday and continued to November 18, 2023, Saturday.
Countries pledged to help the planet avoid the 2°C threshold with the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, individual days breaching that limit does not mean failing that promise.
The deal refers to an average measured over decades. Nevertheless, climate experts urged the world to aim for the lower limit to avoid serious climate impacts.
These include heatwaves, super hurricanes, and melting ice caps. Also, the experts define warming as “the increase in the 30-year global average” compared to the average from 1850 to 1900.
Our climate has warmed by 1.2°C based on that reference period. Moreover, records suggest we’ve been building up to the first-ever 2°C global temperature increase.
The Copernicus Climate monitor said October and every month since June was the warmest month on record. Moreover, scientists have been checking proxy data for this climate trend, such as ice cores and tree rings.
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The UN Environment Program’s annual Emissions Gap report said we’ve had 86 days with temperatures 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in the year to early October. As a result, the UNEP warns the findings “signal that we are getting closer” to breaching the 2°C limit.
The COP28 conference will host leaders from November 30 to December in the United Arab Emirates. They must respond to the disappointing progress on the Paris pledges after scientific studies prove we are failing to meet their goals.
ScienceAlert said the conference would likely lead to the first official assessment of the Paris Agreement. Thus, it may urge leaders to draft new corrective measures.
What are the effects of excessive global temperatures?
As mentioned, rising global temperatures may lead to unprecedented disasters. However, they also caused strange phenomena, such as increased floral growth in Antarctica.
Contrary to popular belief, more flowers do not mean a better world in this context. Antarctica is one of the most frigid regions of the world; its extreme cold is unsuitable for most lifeforms.
Yet, scientists have seen more of its native flowers, the Antarctic pearlwort and Antarctic hair grass, dotting its expanse. University of Insurbia researcher Nicoletta Cannone and her team confirmed these plants are growing faster because Antarctic ice is melting faster than ever.
The melting ice opened more spaces for the further growth of these plant species. British Antarctic Survey researcher Peter Convey told New Scientist, “The most novel feature of this is not the idea that something is growing faster.”
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“It’s that we think we’re starting to see what is almost like a step change or a tipping point,” he added. Also, Scottish Association for Marine Science member Matthew Davey noted, “Accelerated expansion is now clearly evident in the region.”
Another team of scientists found pollution has worsened that it disrupts our sense of smell. The researchers discovered that exposure to ultrafine traffic emissions changes the expression of several genes in human olfactory mucosa cells.
“The olfactory system has been found to mediate the effects of environmental pollutants on the brain, thus contributing to the pathogenesis of brain diseases, said first author Laura Mussalo. Pathogenesis refers to the development of specific illnesses. Consequently, traffic emissions could facilitate the development of brain diseases in our bodies.
Global temperatures have exceeded the 2°C threshold in a record first. As a result, climate experts are calling on world leaders to reassess the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Perhaps they will draft stronger measures in the upcoming COP28 conference. Until then, perform actions that could mitigate climate change’s health effects, such as wearing face masks.
We can also do our part in saving the environment with small efforts like proper garbage disposal. Also, check out more climate change trends and other digital tips at Inquirer Tech.