World surpasses critical warming threshold for the first time
On November 17th, global temperatures reached 2.07°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time on record.
Preliminary data revealing the temperature spike was shared on X by Dr. Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Provisional data for November 18th showed temperatures at 2.06°C above the pre-industrial levels.
These record-breaking global average temperatures are not indicative of permanent warming above 2°C – temperatures would need to consistently surpass this threshold for extended periods before scientists considered it breached. However, this is a clear signal of an increasingly warmer planet that is moving steadily to a future where reversing the impacts of climate change will be difficult, if not impossible.
“Mother Nature has sent yet another worrying message that the Earth is unwell. While this is a short-term breach, the path we are on is a clear sign that we must act quickly and boldly to slash carbon emissions if we are to avert this level of warming becoming the norm, which we can already see is causing more costly and deadly extreme weather, accelerated sea-level rise through faster ice melt, and disrupted ecosystems,” said Dr. Jennifer Francis, a Senior Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center and a member of Arctic Basecamp’s Science & Global Risks Advisory Team.
“The science is clear: if it were not for human activities, mainly burning fossil fuels and deforestation, the Earth would now be cooling, not warming. The longer we wait to act, the more diseased is the planet we leave for our children,” she warned.
The Arctic acts as the Earth’s cooling mechanism, but loss of ice and snow amplifies the risk of global heatwaves, meaning more intense heat stress in parts of the world that are already hot.
Find out more about the global risks of Arctic warming HERE.