The latest report by the World Meteorological Organisation comes with a serious warning:
The limit of 1.5 deg. increase in warming, set in the Paris climate agreement, may be exceeded in just 3 years.
CSIRO and the Global Carbon Project reported this morning in The Conversation:
This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, likely aided by a major climate anomaly such as an El Niño weather pattern. However, it casts new doubt on whether Earth’s climate can be permanently stabilised at 1.5℃ warming.
The report also found while greenhouse gas emissions declined slightly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they remained very high – which meant atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have continued to rise.Pep Canadell Chief research scientist, Climate Science Centre, CSIRO and Rob Jackson, Chair, Department of Earth System Science, and Chair of the Global Carbon Project
They conclude with:
Our report models a range of climate outcomes based on various socioeconomic and policy scenarios. It shows if emission reductions are large and sustained, we can still meet the Paris goals and avoid the most severe damage to the natural world, the economy and people. But worryingly, we also have time to make it far worse.
We can all do our bit as individuals but it is the role of governments at all levels to pull the levers that will substantially reduce emissions.