• For the first time ever, global average temperatures rose over 1.5 C (2.7 F) through a 12-month period between February 2023 and January 2024, the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported on Thursday. Al Jazeera (LR: 2 CP: 1)
  • In 2015, the world’s nations vowed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrialization levels — which is seen as key to avoiding climate change’s worst effects. Thursday’s report, however, doesn’t mean the Paris Agreement has been breached, as the UN deal refers to long-term temperatures. BBC News
  • This comes as a study published in the journal Nature earlier this week warned that global warming was already 1.7 C (3.1 F) above pre-industrial levels by 2020, predicting it could be above 2 C (3.6 F) by the end of the decade — nearly two decades earlier than expected. Nature
  • Some researchers, however, have cautioned that the study — which derived its findings on the chemical composition of sea sponges in the Caribbean — only observed a single location, which doesn’t necessarily represent the world. New York Times (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • While last year’s breach was not a permanent one, scientists say it caused heat waves, droughts, floods, and water scarcity, in addition to costing humanity socially and economically. France 24
  • Meanwhile, the C3S also reported that the world saw its warmest January ever this year — surpassing the previous record set in 2020 — while, according to records that go back as far as 1850, 2023 was ranked Earth’s hottest ever. CBC

Narrative A:

  • To say that humanity has a tough task at hand would be an understatement as far as climate change is concerned. And if the reports of the 1.5 C threshold being crossed across 12 months is anything to go by, we may even have missed the chance to prevent global warming. This latest data must renew efforts to halve global emissions by 2030.

Narrative B:

  • Since the Paris Agreement of 2015 set up the 1.5 C benchmark, the world has obsessed over this figure. Activists, business entities, and governments have all aligned themselves with this consensus goal. But it doesn’t represent a scientific threshold or an ecological tipping point for the planet, as is feared. It’s more of a moral threshold just to get the world to act.
    ATLANTIC (LR: 2 CP: 4)

Nerd narrative:

  • There’s a 50% chance that global carbon dioxide emissions will peak by 2034, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
  • Troy
    12 months ago

    1.5C is an arbitrary number, because we needed a target to measure our performance against. Like all metrics, once you start designing around the metric, it becomes a bad metric. Well, in this case, we didn’t succeed. Somehow everyone will still get their bonuses though.