Not much snow, peaks of 19 degrees Celsius in Norway and even 28 degrees in France: official data confirms the anomalously high temperatures of this past winter.
The planet hits another record: 2015 was the hottest year
2015 was the hottest year on record. Many believe this shouldn’t make the headlines, but the record-breaking figure is cause for concern.
2015 was the hottest year in history, i.e. since tracking began in 1880. We are approaching 1°C in average global temperature rise, over half of the threshold set in the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), 1.5 degrees. Above that limit, many island countries and coastal areas could be submerged and millions of people forced to flee. The news has been released by the American space agency NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and Met Office.
Temperature was 0.9 degrees higher than the reference global average: 13.9 degrees. It’s an increase that considers both terrestrial and oceanic temperature. It’s a figure that broke the record set just the previous year, 2014, when the temperature increase on an annual basis was 0.74 degrees (+0.16 degrees over a year).
With 2015, the negative trend is confirmed. Just consider that among the first 4 warmest years in history there are the past 3 years.
“2015 was remarkable even in the context of the ongoing El Niño,” Gavin Schmidt, Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Last year’s temperatures had an assist from El Niño, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing.”
The message is clear: the Paris Agreement needs to be implemented as soon as possible, as climate is not on our side. Time is running out, and if we don’t do something now, curbing global warming could turn out to be impossible.
The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), German organisation that has always been a crucial actor in providing data and guidelines on how to face climate change, has no doubt: “News on record breaking temperatures like the global record of 2015 show that continuous climate change has become reality by now,” said Professor Wolfgang Lucht of PIK. “We have to end the fossil era”.
A spotlight on Licypriya Kangujam, the eight-year-old Indian climate change activist raising her voice against climate change inaction and whose tireless campaigning has even led two Indian states to adopt climate change as a school subject.
Ocean warming has risen to record highs over the last five years: just in 2019 the heat released into the world’s oceans was equivalent to that of 5-6 atomic bombs per second. The culprit, no doubt, is climate change.
What did Greta Thunberg tell participants at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos? Once again, the Swedish activist underlined the total lack of concrete solutions to the climate crisis presented by leaders so far.
The list of human and animal victims of the Australia wildfires keeps growing – one species might already have gone extinct – as the smoke even reaches South America.
Kivalina is located on a small island once guarded by sea ice, which is now melting due to global warming. While the sea threatens to wipe the village off the face of the Earth, its inhabitants refuse to give up their lives and traditions.
Thanks to activists, the voice of the world’s peoples resounded through the COP25 like an alarm bell. Governments didn’t reach the results they demanded, but their cries and messages were stronger than ever, reaching even those who weren’t in Madrid.
Climate change poses a risk for millions. However, women are the most vulnerable to its negative consequences: a few simple considerations by the Italian Climate Network help us perceive the global implications of this.
The COP25 ended two days late and with very few steps ahead made. Climate negotiations in 2020 will be an uphill battle as political will clearly seems to be lacking, once again.