(Seth Bornstein, Associated Press, November 20, 2023) A UN report showed that global warming has been accelerating since pre-industrial times to 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius, and will far exceed the agreed international climate limit.
To have any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, countries must reduce their emissions by 42% by the end of this decade.
This was stated in the report Emissions gap from United Nations Environment Programme Which was published on Monday. The report said that carbon emissions resulting from burning coal, oil and gas rose by 1.2% last year.
The taste of global warming
This year, the Earth got a taste of what is to come, setting the tone for international climate talks later this month, the report said.
As of the end of September, the average daily temperature was more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above mid-19th century levels on 86 days this year, the report said.
But that rose to 127 days, during which the temperature in the first two weeks of November and almost all of October reached or exceeded 1.5 degrees, according to the European climate agency Copernicus. This represents 40% of days so far this year.
Earth’s temperature on Friday rose 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels for the first time in history, according to Samantha Burgess, deputy director of Copernicus.
“It’s actually a signal that we are already seeing change and acceleration,” said lead author Anne Olhoff of the Danish climate think-tank Conceto. “Based on what science tells us, this is just a whisper. What happens in the future will be more like a roar.”
Target 1.5 degrees
Scientists said that the 1.5 degree target is based on a time period of many years, not days. Previous reports expected the Earth to reach this limit in early 2029 without radical changes in emissions.
To prevent this from happening, Olhoff said, countries around the world must come up with more stringent targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and implement policies to work towards achieving these targets.
Inflation reduction law
In the past two years, only nine countries have come up with new targets, so this has made little difference. She added that some countries, including the United States and European countries, have introduced policies that have improved the outlook somewhat.
American Inflation reduction lawThis initiative, which allocates $375 billion to clean energy, will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by about one billion tons by 2030, Olhoff said.
This may seem like a big number, but the world released 57.4 billion tons of greenhouse gases in 2022, and to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, emissions must fall to 33 billion tons by 2030. That’s an “emissions gap” of 24 billion tons.
“The emissions gap looks like an emissions gap – a gap full of broken promises, broken lives, and broken records,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
So, according to the report, the chance of keeping warming at or below 1.5 degrees is about one in seven, or about 14%, “very, very small,” Olhoff said.
If the world wants to settle for a 2°C temperature limit – a secondary threshold in the Paris Agreement – it only needs to cut emissions to 41 billion tons. The report stated that the gap amounts to 16 billion tons from now.
Promises not kept
Because the world has already warmed by approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius since the mid-19th century, the report forecasts an additional temperature rise of 1.3 to 1.7 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
Countries realized two years ago that they must reach more ambitious emissions reduction targets if the world wants to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. But “none of the major emitters have kept their promises,” says co-author Niklas Hoehne, a scientist at Harvard University. New Climate Institute In Germany.
That’s why the bleak outlook of annual emissions gap reports has not changed in recent years, Olhoff said.
‘The consequences are enormous’
Scientist Bill Hare of Harvard University said this year’s emissions gap report is accurate but not surprising, and the range of expected temperatures matches other groups’ calculations. Climate analyseswhich was not part of the report.
Guterres reiterated his call for countries to phase out the use of fossil fuels in time to maintain the 1.5 degree Celsius limit, saying, “Otherwise, we will blow up the lifeboats while breaking the oars.”
“We now know that the consequences of climate change, global warming of 2.5 to 3 degrees Celsius, will be enormous,” Olhof said in an interview.
“It’s really not the future that I think anyone wants for their children, grandchildren, etc. The good news, of course, is that we can act and we know what to do.”
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