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956. Record 1.5°C Above Pre-industrial Level

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956. Record 1.5°C Above Pre-industrial Level


On February 8, 2024, the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported that January 2024 was the warmest January on record globally, 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average and 0.12°C above the hottest January 2020 record to date. This is 1.66°C above the pre-industrial average of 1850-1900 and the hottest monthly record on record for eight consecutive months. In addition, the 12-month period from February 2023 to January 2024 was 0.64°C higher than the 1991-2020 average and 1.52°C higher than the pre-industrial 1850-1900 average.

It has already been reported that the global average temperature in 2023 will be the highest since 1850 and 1.48°C higher than the pre-industrial level. It has been suggested for several years that the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement would be exceeded even temporarily, and now it has finally been exceeded.   

The 1.5°C warming compared to the industrial revolution is problematic because many climate models show significant differences in temperature, precipitation, and other climatic conditions in most areas of the Earth's surface and oceans between the 1.5°C and 2°C warming cases. Under the latter case, global mean sea level rise is projected to be 0.1m lower by 2100 than under the 2°C and 1.5°C warming cases, slowing the rate of sea level rise and providing time to develop adaptation measures for people and ecosystems living in island nations and low-lying coastal and delta regions. Similarly, a warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C will reduce the threat of biodiversity loss and extinction and the extent of ocean temperature rise and acidification. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth increase at 1.5°C and even more so at 2°C. Adapting to 1.5°C warming is cheaper than adapting to 2°C warming.

The 1.5°C temperature has been exceeded this time, but avoiding a significant future increase will require rapid and far-reaching system transitions in energy, land use, cities, infrastructure and industry. The food system must also be transformed through innovation and behavior change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts while maintaining food security for the world's population.

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)


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