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🗞️ Driving the news: For the first time, global average temperatures exceeded the critical 1.5 degrees Celsius warming threshold over a 12-month period, marking a concerning milestone in climate change
• This period from February 2023 to January 2024 saw average temperatures 1.52 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, influenced by the El Niño phenomenon and exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
🔭 The context: This temperature rise, reported by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, signifies a significant milestone, underscoring the urgent need for action against climate change
• While the spike is partly due to El Niño, the underlying cause remains human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, challenging the goals set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.
🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Exceeding the 1.5-degree limit even temporarily is a stark reminder of the dire consequences of climate change, including intensified storms, heatwaves, and droughts
• This breach highlights the narrowing window for action to prevent long-term, irreversible damage to the Earth's climate system and underscores the critical importance of drastically reducing fossil fuel use and enhancing climate mitigation efforts
⏭️ What's next: The situation presents a call to action for rapid and significant reductions in global emissions to meet the Paris Agreement goals and avoid surpassing the 1.5-degree threshold on a long-term basis
• Transitioning to renewable energy, halting deforestation, and investing in carbon capture and storage technologies are among the necessary steps to mitigate further warming.
💬 One quote: "Unless global emissions are urgently brought down to zero, the world will soon fly past the safety limits set out in the Paris climate agreement," - Joeri Rogelj, professor of climate science at the Imperial College London.
📈 One stat: Average global temperatures were 1.52 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels from February 2023 to January 2024.
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