World Exceeds 1.5C Warming Limit for the First Time in a 12-Month Period | Latest on Climate Crisis

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported that global warming has exceeded temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over a 12-month period for the first time on record. This is being seen as a “warning to humanity” by scientists. The temperatures were measured between February 2023 to January 2024 and recorded the highest 12-month global temperature average on record.

This extreme heat was accompanied by storms, drought, and fires, as climate change and the El Nino weather phenomenon affected the planet, making 2023 the hottest year in global records dating back to 1850. The trend has continued into 2024, with the year-long warming of 1.52C above the 19th-century benchmark confirmed by C3S. However, scientists have stated that the world has not yet permanently breached the crucial 1.5C warming threshold target outlined in the Paris climate agreement, which is measured over decades.

The Paris climate agreement, signed by almost 200 governments in 2015, aims to phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy by the second half of the century. However, the United Nations has stated that the world is not on track to meet the long-term goals of the agreement, including capping global warming at 1.5C.

C3S also reported that January 2024 was the hottest January on record, continuing a trend of exceptional heat fueled by climate change. Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are seen as the only way to stop global temperatures from increasing, according to C3S Deputy Director Samantha Burgess.

In addition to these developments, on Thursday, US space agency NASA launched its newest satellite, PACE, to survey the world’s oceans and atmosphere in never-before-seen detail. The satellite will scan the globe daily from 676km (420 miles) above the Earth and is the most advanced mission ever launched to study ocean biology. Scientists expect to start receiving data from PACE in the coming months, and the project is aimed at improving severe weather forecasts, detailing Earth’s changes as temperatures rise, and better predicting harmful algae outbreaks.

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