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article imageUN Report: World getting closer to passing temperature limit

By Karen Graham     Sep 9, 2020 in Environment
The world is getting closer to passing a temperature limit set by global leaders at the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, and may exceed it in the next decade or so, according to a new United Nations "United in Science 2020 Report."
According to the new science update released Wednesday by the UN, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other global science groups, the world has a one-in-four chance of experiencing a year that's hot enough to put the global temperature at 2.7 degrees Fahrenhet (1.5 Celsius) above pre-industrial times, reports CBC Canada.
The 1.5 degrees C limit is actually the more stringent of two limits set in 2015. According to the 2020 report, "the average global mean surface temperature1 for 2016–2020 (2020 data are based on averages January to July) will be among the warmest of any equivalent period on record." As of this year, the planet is currently estimated to be 1.1 °C (±0.1°C) above pre-industrial times.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a forward to the 2020 Science Report said: "This has been an unprecedented year for people and planet. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives worldwide. At the same time, the heating of our planet and climate disruption has continued apace. Record heat, ice loss, wildfires, floods and droughts continue to worsen, affecting communities, nations and economies around the world. Furthermore, due to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the past century, the planet is already locked into future significant heating."
The UN report comes at a time when the world is experiencing what is best described as "weather gone wild," reports the Associated Press.
The Creek Fire in central California has ripped through more than 140 000 acres and is zero percent ...
The Creek Fire in central California has ripped through more than 140,000 acres and is zero percent contained
In the United States, on the West Coast, an extreme heat wave, the second in a matter of weeks, set off enormous wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington State and Colorado, among other states. In California alone, over 2.2 million acres have burned, and we still have four months to go in the fire season.
Several weeks ago, Death Valley hit 130 degrees (54.4 degrees Celsius) and Siberia hit 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius). And today, the temperatures in many parts of the West Coast are still breaking records. Just two days ago, temperatures in the San Fernando Valley reached 117 degrees (47 Celsius).
The warming that has already occurred has “increased the odds of extreme events that are unprecedented in our historical experience,” Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said.
Julie @rebelyu
Some countries, including the U.S. and many in Europe, are reducing emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, said Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). "Greenhouse gas concentrations - which are already at their highest levels in 3 million years - have continue to rise, reaching new record highs this year. Meanwhile, large swathes of Siberia have seen a prolonged and remarkable heatwave during the first half of 2020, which would have been almost impossible without anthropogenic climate change. And now 2016–2020 is set to be the warmest five year period on record. This report shows that whilst many aspects of our lives have been disrupted in 2020, climate change has continued unabated."
Guterres said big polluting countries, like China, the United States and India, need to become carbon neutral, adding no heat-trapping gas to the atmosphere, by 2050. If they don’t, “all the effort will not be enough,” Guterres said at a press conference Wednesday.
So far, this year is the second hottest on record and has a 37 percent chance of surpassing the global record set in 2016, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This report should be taken seriously because our future does indeed, depend on what we will do going forward. Think about that.
More about United in Science 2020, Global warming, 15 degrees C, Paris climate change agreement, next decade
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