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904. Global Average Temperature Temporarily Exceeds 2.0°C Above to Pre-Industrial Levels

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904. Global Average Temperature Temporarily Exceeds 2.0°C Above to Pre-Industrial Levels


On November 20, Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Program, announced that the global average temperature on November 17 exceeded the 1991-2020 level by 1.17°C, potentially marking the first time since the 1850-1900 period that it has exceeded 2°C.

The Paris Agreement, the global framework for addressing climate change, aims to keep the increase in the global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an additional ambition to keep it below 1.5°C. While a temporary breach of these limits, as in this case, may not cause immediate problems, it does signal an undesirable trend.

Coincidentally, on the same day, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its 2023 Emissions Gap Report, titled Broken Record - Temperatures hit new highs, yet the world fails to cut emissions (again).

The report highlights that the progress made since the 2015 Paris Agreement is not enough to limit the projected 16% increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, instead projecting a 3% increase. To meet the 2°C and 1.5°C goals, the report highlights the need to reduce GHG emissions by 28% and 42%, respectively, by 2030.

Even with full implementation of the unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) agreed in the Paris Agreement, the report warns of a potential warming of 2.9°C compared to pre-industrial levels. The implementation of conditional NDCs is seen as a deterrent to limiting warming to 2.5°C.

Given that the global average temperature has already risen by almost 1.2°C compared to the reference period, the scientists stress the urgency for countries, especially those with the capacity to reduce emissions, to step up efforts, adopt ambitious measures and support the decarbonization of economic growth in developing countries.


Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)






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