What to know as climate records continue to be broken

WASHINGTON – Month after month, global temperatures set new records. On the other hand, scientists and climate policymakers are warning of the growing possibility that the planet will soon exceed the global warming target set by the landmark climate talks in Paris in 2015.

Understanding the path of extreme weather events can be difficult for some. Here’s a look at what scientists are saying.

What climate records have been broken recently?

The European Union’s climate monitoring agency Copernicus announced last month that May was the hottest month on record, recording a record high for the twelfth month in a row. Separately, the World Meteorological Organization has estimated that there is a roughly one-in-two chance that average global temperatures from 2024 to 2028 will exceed the hoped-for warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, which has been agreed upon. It is in 2018. Paris talks.

And there’s another reason: Earth’s temperature will rise slightly faster in 2023 than in 2022, a group of 57 scientists determined in a report published in the journal Earth System Science Data.

Passersby stand in line to get a cup of cold drink distributed by an organization as a heat wave sweeps through the Indian capital New Delhi, India, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Are climate scientists surprised?

Not real. Many climate scientists say the warming trends track what they have studied and predicted based on the buildup of carbon dioxide from increased use of fossil fuels.

In 2023, Levels of these heat-trapping gases The atmosphere has reached historic levels, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Carbon dioxide, in particular, the most abundant and important of the greenhouse gases produced by human activity, rose in 2023 by the third highest amount in 65 years of record-keeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

FILE - Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Terry Wilson (9) sweats while warming up during an NFL football practice, June 4, 2024, in Henderson, Nevada.  Month after month, global temperatures set new records.  (AP Photo/John Lusher, File)

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Terry Wilson (9) sweats while warming up during an NFL football practice, June 4, 2024, in Henderson, Nevada. (AP Photo/John Locher)

What do broken records mean for humans?

More suffering. It has brought human-induced climate change Wild weather fluctuationsincreasingly unpredictable storms and storms Heat waves that remain over a specific area For longer periods of time.

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that Asian heat wave This spring, schools were forced to close in the Philippines, and caused the deaths of people in Thailand, setting record numbers there and in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives and Myanmar. Weeks of heatwaves in parts of India last month also led to the closure of schools And people were killed.

Scientists say that life will not end if temperatures exceed 1.5 degrees, but things will get worse. Previous United Nations studies Dramatic changes to Earth’s ecosystem show that 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius of warming is likely to begin, including the eventual loss of the planet’s coral reefs, Arctic sea ice, and some species of plants and animals — along with extreme weather events. The worst ones kill people. And the destruction of infrastructure.

“The Paris threshold is not a magic number. Reaching this level of warming over an average of several years would not cause the noticeable increase in impacts we are already seeing,” said Jennifer Francis, a scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts.

FILE - A young Pakistani man cools himself under a hand pump at sunset during hot weather in Lahore, Pakistan, May 28, 2024. Month after month, global temperatures set new records.  (AP Photo/KM Chaudary, File)

A young Pakistani man cools under a hand pump at sunset during hot weather in Lahore, Pakistan, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/KM Chaudary)

What can he do?

Climate scientists are adamant that the use of fossil fuels must be phased out to stave off the worst consequences of climate change. Burning fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – is the main contributor to global warming caused by human activity.

“Until greenhouse gas concentrations stabilize, we will continue to break temperature records, along with increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events,” Francis said.

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Renewable energy has seen rapid growth, however It needs to grow faster. Competencies are studied, developed and disseminated throughout the economy – in different ways We heat homes and buildingsFor example, Cook our food And Cement making But scientists say the need to adapt is urgent.

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