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Will 2024 mark the first complete year to exceed a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature?
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Will 2024 mark the first complete year to exceed a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature?

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In 2023, it was determined that it was the hottest year ever recorded, with average temperatures worldwide increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels for over a third of the year. This trend of warming has been ongoing, as the last decade has seen the 10 hottest years in human history.

What does the future of 2024 potentially hold? Predictions indicate that it may be another unprecedented year, with a high chance of being the first to surpass a 1.5C temperature increase.

The current occurrence of El Niño, which results in higher temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, is contributing to the rise in global temperatures. However, researchers from the UK Met Office state that the primary cause of these record-breaking temperatures is the warming caused by human activity.

In 2024, the projected global temperature is estimated to be between 1.34C and 1.58C higher than preindustrial levels.

Exceeding the 1.5C limit would be an undesirable achievement, but it does not indicate a violation of the Paris agreement. Interestingly, the 2015 agreement on climate did not specify a method for determining when the 1.5C goal has been exceeded, but it is generally understood to refer to a sustained average over a period of approximately 20 years.

Instead of waiting years for information to become available, a recent study in Nature proposes using a combination of observations and model predictions to determine when the 1.5C threshold has been exceeded.

Source: theguardian.com