Below are the numbers that document global warming since 1880s when reliable data became readily available. They show just how far we have already come — and how little wiggle room we have to avoid a climate catastropheBy the end this century.
Under the 2015 Paris agreement, the world’s nations agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures — ideally restricting warming to just 1.5 degrees C (2.7 Fahrenheit).
Less than a decade later, we’re close to blowing past the 1.5-degree target, having so far made little progressTurn things around.
Via NASA/Berkeley Earth/NOAA
The range shown for global warming comes from comparing the average global temperature for the period of 1880–1899 with the average for the most recent five complete years, as measured by two leading studies of historical temperature records that are run by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space StudiesAnd Berkeley Earth.
The Berkeley Earth project launched in 2010 — funded in part by the conservative-leaning Charles Koch Foundation — to address concernsThe observed global warming may be due to data collection biases. But, the reanalysis proved that the scientific consensus is that our planet is warming up. Indeed, the higher 1.3 degrees estimate comes from Berkeley Earth; 1.2 degrees is from NASA’s analysis.
“We already have dangerous climate change,” Michael Wehner, a senior staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s just more dangerous for every tenth of a degree.”
Global average sea level has been rising as a result global warming. This is due to melting ice, and thermal expansion. The following estimates of sea level rise over the past 1880 are derived from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA). It is based on historical records of tide gauges from around the globe, combined with recent measurements of the return times and intensities of radar pulses fired to the ocean surface from orbiting spacecrafts.
This chart plots the monthly global average temperature calculated by NASA and Berkeley Earth — you can highlight either analysis by tapping or hovering on the legend item. While there is a lot of variation from month to month, there’s a clear warming trend, especially in recent decades. Both projects compare the global temperature average to the average of 1951 to 1980, which is a relatively stable period when most of the world’s temperature monitoring stations had good coverage.
Heating up is not happening at the same rate in all places. Arctic has seen the most rapid climate change. three times the global rateAnd causing a decline in Arctic sea icemelting the Greenland glacier. The land has seen warmer temperatures than the ocean. You can use this map to view NASA’s historical temperature analysis for any location shown: Click or tap on the map or enter a location into the search box to see the annual chart redraw for that location.
This chart of the average global ocean level combines data obtained from two projects: a reconstruction using historical records and modern records. This project runs from 1880 through 2013, and was created by scientists with CSIRO, Australia’s national research agency, and an ongoing project at the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center. After satellite measurements became more frequent, the global average sea-level is used as a comparison. Since 2006, the global average of sea level has been rising by about 3.6 millimeters(0.14 inches) per annum, according to NOAA.
Even if the coast is not completely submerged, rising sea levels increase the likelihood that flooding will occur due to unusually high tides and surges from powerful storms. This can cause major property damage as well as loss of life.
If we don’t limit warming, sea level rise is expected to accelerate as more and more ice melts from Antarctica’s massive ice sheets. A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley found that sea level rise is likely to accelerate if we don’t limit warming. study publishedIn the journal Nature, our current trajectoryIf the planet is warming to 3 degrees C, it could cause an abrupt rise in Antarctic ice melting by 2060. This would result in an additional 6 centimeters (2.4 inch) of sea level rise over a world that is already warmed by 2 degree Celsius, and an additional 23 centimeters (9 inch) by the end next century.
“These results demonstrate the possibility that rapid and unstoppable sea-level rise from Antarctica will be triggered if Paris Agreement targets are exceeded,” the researchers concluded.
This would change the coastlines of the world, causing massive migration and destruction in cities like Bangkok and Amsterdam. It could also wipe out small island countries. And these projections do not include an unpredictable yet catastrophic tipping point like a rapid collapse of one of Antarctica’s enormous ice sheets — an almost unimaginable event that could add several meters to the global average sea level.
The buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, is responsible for warming and rising sea levels. These gases act like a glasshouse, trapping the sun’s heat and warming the globe.
Since 1958, accurate measurements of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have been made from a projectCharles David Keeling of Scripps Institution of Oceanography was the one who started it all. He used infrared sensors on the Mauna Loa Observatory, Big Island of Hawaii to measure the concentration of gas in the air. This site was chosen because it is free of local pollution and has sparse vegetation (plants take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).
The chart shows both Mauna loa records and a composite value, which NOAA has compiled from measurements taken at different locations around the world since 1980. Both plots show a consistent annual cycle with a dip in spring and summer due to the plant growing season on the large landmasses of Northern Hemisphere. This is superimposed on a rise caused mainly by fossil fuel burning.
Deniers of human-caused climate change sometimes argue that levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures have varied widely in the past as a consequence of natural long-term cycles — and suggest that something similar is happening today. Scientists have proven that they are wrong.
Measuring levels of carbon dioxide trapped in bubbles of airScientists have been able, using deep cores taken from Antarctic ice’s thick cap, to reconstruct the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over more than 800,000. It’s true that levels of carbon dioxide waxed and waned as the Earth cycled in and out of successive ice ages. The last almost vertical line, which includes a modern record as shown on the previous chart shows that there has been no similar surge in the icecore record. Humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels are clearly to blame, scientists concludedThe latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
This chart ranks the world’s nations by their contribution to those emissions, using data compiled by Our World in DataFrom the Global Carbon Project. Once carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, it can be used to create a greenhouse effect. hang around for hundreds of years. This means that the Earth today is being warmed by the cumulative emissions pumped out over many decades — making the United States, the largest historical emitter, most responsible for the crisis, even though China’s current annual emissions are larger.
Global warming is slow to reverse due to the long residence time carbon dioxide has in the atmosphere. Our greatest challenge is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The goal is to quickly bring our emissions down to what’s called “net zero” — where carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere equals the amount being pulled out by natural or technical means — to have any chance of keeping beneath those 2015 Paris targets.
This chart shows that the average age of these people was at least 18 years old as of this chart. temporary reductionThe coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has caused carbon dioxide emissions to rise. This is due in part to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions from Asia, mainly because China and India have flexed economic muscles.
It’s not too late to make things right. But the time is running out for world leaders gathering in Glasgow to avoid a climate disaster. If we don’t quickly cut the mountain of carbon dioxide emissions shown on the chart above, a disastrous future awaits.
“A 1.5 degree warmer world is really horrible. A 2 degree warmer world is more horrible, 3 degree yet more,” Wehner said. “At some point, when you get to 4, 5, or 6 degrees, and those are not out of the realm of possibility, parts of the planet will not be livable.”
Zahra Hirji contributed reporting.