The 1.5 degree threshold can be reached from 2024
If there were to be an El Niño next winter, the average temperature of the Earth could well exceed for the first time, in 2024, the bar of 1.5 degrees, close to 'a decade earlier than originally planned.
Around the world, the latest models predict that the current phase of La Nina will end this spring, followed by an El Niño in the second half of 2023. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reiterated this prediction on January 3, as well as the United States Ocean Agency. However, El Niño years are characterized by an extra boost to warmer temperatures.
Specifically, El Niño begins with a warming of the waters of the tropical eastern Pacific regions of at least 0.5 degrees. La Nina is the opposite phenomenon, a cooling of the same waters below the long-term average. Both trigger, by domino effect, disturbances throughout the world.
Regardless of these two phenomena, in recent years, the warming of the Earth's average temperature, compared to the pre-Industrial Revolution era, has been more than 1.1 degrees Celsius, even approaching 1.2 degrees. . If the trend continues, the 1.5 degree mark – which the various countries had committed to try not to exceed in 2015 – would be reached at the start of the 2030s. , the British Met Office (MET) estimated that there was a 48% chance that this threshold would be reached as early as 2026. According to the new estimates, it could therefore be as early as 2024.
Until the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, we spoke rather of the 2 degree threshold as being the one that prudence imposed not to exceed, to avoid catastrophic disturbances to the various systems of our planet. It was the awareness that the impacts of global warming were already beginning to be felt, which had led island countries to insist that the target be reduced to 1.5 degrees instead – even if, already in 2015, most observers considered it unrealistic. probably a few years of respite before it is definitively crossed. But the symbolic value that this threshold has taken on since 2015 would make exceeding it, even temporarily, look like a “devastating failure”, analyzes the British environmental journalist Madeleine Cuff in the New Scientist: “ the heads of state would be accused of making empty promises and business people would be blamed for [continuing] to pollute the planet in their quest for profits.”
“As for the climate movement , the sense of urgency that had energized activists around the world may dissipate… Can they convincingly recreate the same momentum for a target of 1.6, or 1.7 degrees?”