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Scientists left seriously alarmed after world smashes through key barrier for first time in history

Rhianna Benson

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Scientists left seriously alarmed after world smashes through key barrier for first time in history

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Frayer/Delta Images/Getty Images

Scientists have this week sounded the alarm following a startling revelation which could have disastrous consequences for the planet.

The worrisome news was announced just two weeks ahead of the launch of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai on 12 December, which will see countries around the world taking stock of their progress towards the Paris Climate Agreement pledge.

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This promises to limit global warming so that it doesn't go more than just over the pre-industrial temperature - before humans began burning fossil fuels on a larger scale, which in turn altered the planet's natural climate.

Despite this world promise, scientists assessing the temperature of planet Earth have discovered that the situation is significantly worse than they ever could have imagined.

This is because Earth's temperature has now risen above the crucial threshold that expert have been warning humans about for decades.

According to scientists, breaking this barrier is almost guaranteed to have both catastrophic and irreversible impacts on the planet and its ecosystems.

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The Earth's temperature increased by 2 degrees. Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
The Earth's temperature increased by 2 degrees. Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

For the first time in the Earth's history, preliminary data shared on X - formerly known as Twitter - shows that the global average temperature on Friday 17 November was a concerning two degrees hotter than levels before industrialisation.

Samantha Burgess - deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service - shared the alarming news on social media.

Though the threshold was only crossed temporarily - and therefore does not subsequently mean that the world is in a permanent state of warming - it is a symptom of the planet getting hotter and hotter.

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Moving towards a longer-term solution - which will see the climate crisis impacted - will also be significantly harder, and in some cases, difficult, to reverse.

The news comes ahead of the COP28 conference. Credit: Pexels
The news comes ahead of the COP28 conference. Credit: Pexels

Burgess warned the world via social media last week: "Our best estimate is that this was the first day when global temperature was more than 2°C above 1850-1900 (or pre-industrial) levels, at 2.06°C."

She added that global temperatures on Friday averaged 1.17 degrees above 1991-2020 levels, making it the warmest 17 November on record.

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Compared to pre-industrial times, however, the temperature was 2.06 degrees warmer.

She also explained to CNN, however, that one day above two degrees of warming 'does not mean that the Paris Agreement has been breached', but 'highlights how we are approaching those internationally agreed limits'.

This could impact whole ecosystems. Credit: Jack Dykinga/Nature Picture Library
This could impact whole ecosystems. Credit: Jack Dykinga/Nature Picture Library

"We can expect to see increasing frequency of 1.5 degree and 2 degree days over the coming months and years."

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According to scientists, however, the world already appears to be on track to breach 1.5 degrees of warming on a longer-term basis in the next few years.

They add that going beyond this threshold will mean that both humans and whole ecosystems will struggle to adapt.

By going up two degrees, far more of the population will be at risk of extreme deadly weather, and this increases the likelihood of the planet reaching irreversible tipping points.

This could see the collapse of the polar ice sheets and mass death of the coral reefs.

Topics: News, Climate Change, Science, Environment

Rhianna Benson
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