Unprecedented global temperature rises will likely see the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold breached at some point in the next five years, a United Nations (U.N.) report predicts.
The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) gave the stark warning in its latest annual assessment. According to the WMO, there is a 66% chance that annual mean global surface temperatures will temporarily breach the threshold of a 1.5C rise above pre-industrial levels. This would be the first time in human history that such a rise had been recorded.
Scientists have warned that crossing the 1.5C threshold greatly increases the risks of encountering tipping points that could unleash irreversible climate breakdown — such as the collapse of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets; extreme heat waves; severe droughts; water stress; and extreme weather across large parts of the globe.
Related: Significant El Niño event is almost guaranteed this year, experts warn. And it could be a big one.
Around 200 countries pledged to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C or under in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Now, even if just temporarily, that limit could be breached for the first time.
"A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months, and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory," Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the WMO, said in a statement. "This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared."
El Niño occurs when trade winds, which typically push warm water westwards across the Pacific Ocean from South America to Asia, weaken, keeping more of the warm water in place. This strongly affects climate patterns around the world, making South America wetter and bringing drought (and sometimes famine) to regions such as Australia, Indonesia, Northern China and Northeastern Brazil.
In the U.S., El Niño tends to make northern regions warmer and dryer and southern regions wetter, and because it causes warmer water to spread further and remain near the surface of the ocean, it also heats up the atmosphere around the world.
The latest WMO report covers the years 2023 to 2027. It says there is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest ever — exceeding 2016's 2.3 F (1.28 C) record temperature rise.
The chances of higher temperature swings are also increasing: The odds of breaching the 1.5C temperature threshold was near zero in 2015; it rose to 48% in 2022; and is now 66% just a year later.
The researchers said much of this warming would be unevenly distributed. The Arctic, for instance, will see temperatures fluctuate by three times as much as the rest of the world, accelerating melting that could severely impact weather systems such as the jet stream and the North Atlantic current — crucial systems for the regulation of temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.
Rainfall, meanwhile, is expected to decrease across Central America, Australia, Indonesia and the Amazon. Deforestation, climate change, and burnings have caused the gigantic rainforest to lose some of its resilience since the 2000s, leading to concern among scientists that it may cross a tipping point that could transform it into savanna.
The report notes there is only a 32% chance that the five-year mean will exceed the 1.5C threshold, but this average has nonetheless risen dramatically since 2015, when it was near-zero.
"This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5 C level specified in the Paris Agreement, which refers to long-term warming over many years," Taalas said. "However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5 C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency."
Who do you trust.
Global warming for millions of years has undergone changes upon changes.
Carbon trading, the billionaires are laughing all the way to the bank.
Global Warming is a dooms day cult. Every year is the end of the world. How long will people fall for this nonsense.
There is no denying the fact that humans have impacted this planet in ways that go beyond a natural event. Pumping billions of tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere on a yearly basis has altered the climate of this planet in ways that we are now beginning to understand.
As I sit here on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, I can look outside and see that the view is obscured by the haze and smoke particulates from the numerous wildfires burning in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. Growing up here, this was unheard of. Ten, twenty years ago, we never experienced this. Today, we are experiencing this on an almost daily basis.
You can deny that human caused climate change is happening as we speak. I can simply look outside and see the evidence.
Good to know there are some readers here who do take the science on climate seriously and yes, the 1975 US National Academy of Sciences report "Understanding Climatic Change: a Program for Action" called for science programs specifically to remedy the gaps that were making it impossible to predict climate change with any confidence. The response of the greater, professional science community to 1970's media global cooling hype was to make clear that climate science was not up to making such a call and the proper response was to call for better science - eg -
Even then the considered view was that the world was seeing more warming from raised CO2 than cooling from sulfate aerosols, but so far as I am aware the media outlets that promoted global cooling fears never published a word about what the National Academy of Sciences said, nor interviewed any lead authors. Or they would have encountered Wally Broecker and perhaps his 1975 paper - "Are We On The Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming".
And this -
And of course there is all the science on climate from around the world, summarized in the IPCC reports.
But that is just of the things Hawking warned about, and life on Earth is facing. The other is people like the environmentalists whose fanatical tyrannies and radical anarchies are destroying Civilization and taking all humanity, and thus all life on Earth, to World War III. That is the direct threat that a new Exodus from the womb of Earth is going to solve. Nothing else will and that is why such visionaries as Hawking, among others, have fought so hard for it.
Environmentalism without Frontier expansion from the Earth first and foremost is Utopia Earth and the coffin of Mankind and the rest of Earth life. Breakout, birth from Earth, is the imperative. Civilization is already taking the path of extinction and it isn't going to help the environmentalist tyranny / anarchy over Mankind succeed in the least. Environmentalism's Utopia Earth (Dystopia Earth in fact, short a frontier of new 'Exodus') is a death wish and a death watch for all life on Earth as Hawking, again for just one, realized. Everything Environmentalism will plan and do for Mankind, life on Earth, and the Earth, will be exactly the wrong thing . . . a go in exactly the wrong direction.
Sometimes there is no choice of paths. Sometimes there is only one path for a continued survival and prosperity across the board and it isn't totalitarian police state environmentalism and a payment for it in all-out war . . . the real payment for closed systemic Earth promises, plans, and actions, that aren't going to come to any benign fruition whatsoever!
I really thought I was on a website that strongly advocates for the imperative of breakout, giving the reasons why it is such an imperative, and doesn't cry over poor Earth. That is no way, no way at all, to save it . . . to save Earth life (including Mankind's Civilization and Mankind itself)!!!!
If life survives Environmentalism and Mankind's extinction it will impose, and has the time, the life it replaces such a stupid and weak species with will ruthlessly take life out into the frontier universe, and through that ruthlessness will do the job of energizing, saving and prospering life.
If we don't stabilise Earth's climate and prevent the more extreme global warming outcomes the global economy will be unable to support any longer term expansion into space. Not that I agree with Hawking; Earth is still the best place for humans, by a long shot and preserving human viability here is far more important than chasing dreams of how you want the far future to play out.
Climate concerns are not principally environmentalist ones or confined to environmentalists, they are economic and social and the solutions only appear to be coming primarily from them because of the long running failures of mainstream politics to face up to it and address it. "You care so much, you fix it" like it is a hot potato, followed by "not like that" isn't the fault of climate activism, it is the failure of those holding the very Offices where policy choices are made.
Is a massive problem.
Look at the air content, the rubbish tips, the forest DE pleaded.
The solution is slowly changing to natural resources that do not pollute.
There is a balance so that man survives.
Carbon Trading has been corrupted by the billionaires.
That said, I just found a paper (which I have not had a chance to fully read), that seems to have at least advanced our understanding of the astronomic drivers of the ice age cycles. See https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-023-00765-x . This seems to answer one of the questions, but we still have a long way to go to understand how the global circulation patterns change and affect local climates to produce ice sheets, etc. That is what we need to understand to better predict the rates of changes and their locations.
It still seems like we have a long way to go to make predictions of the future climate that are very reliable. That should not be any surprise to those of us who have been around for several decades and watched the evolution of our daily/weekly/seasonal weather prediction capabilities - they have improved tremendously, but still can't tell us with much accuracy a lot of the things we would like to know in our daily lives.
The problem is that we don't have time to make our models of future climate accurate enough that nobody can argue with the results. We do already have enough information to know that humans are affecting the climate, and what general directions those effects will have for the future, and that those effects will have negative consequences for a lot of humans, if not all of us.
And, that is just part of how human population has changed our environments and ecosystems. We are also losing species in another mass extinction, mainly due to habitat destruction by us, and polluting with all sorts of chemicals, that have lasting biological and ecological effects, much faster than we are realizing that those effects are occurring.
But, more significantly, humans are reacting badly to the increased population density of humans. (And, that was also a prediction made in the 1950s, with the first quarter of the 21st century predicted to become much more confrontational than usual.) That is a big part of the reason that we cannot control our effects on our environment. We are in conflicts with each other at many levels, and that blocks the trust that is needed not so much in science, but in each other, in order to form and execute the policies that we need to ensure our well being, and maybe even survival as a technological species.
Those who are thinking that soon enough, we will gain the ability to travel to other planets that can sustain life without support from Earth are almost certainly wrong - for several reasons. Beyond the realities that there are no apparently suitable planets within the region that we have any hope of reaching with our knowledge about basic physics, we have the underlying problem of human nature, itself. That goes with us even if we could find a "second Earth" and manage to transport a seed population of humans there. We would simply do there what we are doing here, with similar consequences. Even sustained "outposts" on Mars would, in multiple generations, eventually develop similar conflicts to those now on Earth, but in a much less forgiving and supporting set of environment conditions.
So, our only real hope for survival in the form we are currently accustomed to is to change us so that we behave in ways that are sustainable here on Earth. That means reduce our global population, and find ways to sustain the reduced population that at least allow the Earth's climate and natural ecosystems to be insignificantly affected by our presence.
Yes, we would still be affected by climate changes that occur naturally. All life on Earth has to do so, and we are never going to be able to find ways to control the climate exactly to our specific desires. Even if we had not already changed the global climate into a major warming period, we would then be expecting a global cooling period that we would have needed to adapt to.
In the not so distant past, humans adapted by migrating to different areas when the areas they were occupying became unsuitable, or even just the local resources were use-up. But, as human populations expanded to fill the whole habitable parts of the globe, humans who needed to move found that they had nowhere to move to without overpopulating other areas, and getting into conflicts with those humans already there. Since we have gained the ability to record our history, it is full of conflicts between groups of people who have different life-styles and fight over access to land and water (and now, other resources like fossil fuels and minerals).
So, as a species, we are going to have to adapt to the concept that our environment has limitations that we need to accept to prevent our species' population crashing. (Population crashes in other species that have experienced large population spikes are normal ecological occurrences, and are expected.) The only way we should have any hope of avoiding such a collapse of our own population is that we are unusually "intelligent" compared to other species. But, are we "intelligent" enough? I hope so, but, right now, it doesn't look like a good bet.