World breached 1.5° Celsius limit for entire year for first time: European climate agency

Scientists at C3S said the global mean temperature for the past 12 months (February 2023-January 2024) was the highest on record and 1.52° Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average

Updated - February 08, 2024 07:33 pm IST

Published - February 08, 2024 09:16 am IST - New Delhi

Scientists attribute the exceptional warming to the combined effects of El Niño. File photo

Scientists attribute the exceptional warming to the combined effects of El Niño. File photo | Photo Credit: AP

The world last month experienced the warmest January on record, with the global mean temperature for the past 12 months exceeding the 1.5° Celsius threshold, according to the European climate agency.

However, this does not imply a permanent breach of the 1.5-degree Celsius limit specified in the Paris agreement, as it refers to long-term warming over many years.

Every month since June last year has been the warmest such month on record.

Scientists attribute the exceptional warming to the combined effects of El Niño -- a period of abnormal warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean -- and human-caused climate change.

Also read: How climate change is making the world sick

The global average temperature in January was 1.66° Celsius above the January average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period.

With an average temperature of 13.14° Celsius, January 2024 was 0.12° Celsius warmer than the previous warmest January in 2020, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

Scientists at C3S said the global mean temperature for the past 12 months (February 2023-January 2024) was the highest on record and 1.52° Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.

Paris agreement

In 2015, countries agreed in Paris to limit the average temperature rise to well below 2° Celsius, and preferably to 1.5° Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels (1850-1900), to avoid worsening climate impacts.

Multiple reports suggest that the world is significantly off track to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius. To achieve this goal, countries together need to cut down the emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane by 43% by 2030.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of C3S, said that "2024 starts with another record-breaking month -- not only is it the warmest January on record but we have also just experienced a 12-month period of more than 1.5° Celsius above the pre-industrial reference period".

"Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures from increasing." The year 2023 was the warmest on record, with the average global temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels nearing the 1.5° Celsius threshold.

The World Meteorological Organisation in December said 2024 could be worse as "El Nino typically has the greatest impact on global temperature after it peaks."

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.