The world is about to set a very dangerous record: global temperatures are set to reach 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels for the very first time, putting us halfway to the threshold that scientists agree will result in damaging climate change.
Data from the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia shows 2015 global mean temperatures at 1.02 degrees Celsius (+/- 0.11 degrees Celcius) above pre-industrial levels, writes the Met Office in a news release.
Stephen Belcher, director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said that El Nino is having an impact on this year’s global temperature, but “it’s clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory.”
The scientists expect 2016 to be similarly warm and expect warming to continue in the longer term. “As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker – eventually it will become the norm,” says Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution.
Researchers have calculated that the humankind can emit up to around 2,900 gigatonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) if warming is to be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius. But as of 2014, around 2,000 GtCO2 has already been emitted, which means around two thirds of the total CO2 emissions has already been used up.