Global heating will pass 1.5C threshold this year, top ex-Nasa scientist says

The internationally agreed threshold to prevent the Earth from spiraling into a new superheated era will be “passed for all practical purposes” during 2024, the man known as the godfather of climate science has warned.

James Hansen, the former Nasa scientist credited for alerting the world to the dangers of climate change in the 1980s, said that global heating caused by the burning of fossil fuels, amplified by the naturally reoccurring El Niño climatic event, will by May push temperatures to as much as 1.7C (3F) above the average experienced before industrialization.

The past years were the hottest on record. Yet we’re on track to burn more fossil fuels | Kim Heacox

A vast majority of the world’s best climate scientists have told us again and again that to maintain a stable and liveable planet, we, the human race, must reduce the burning of fossil fuels – and emissions of greenhouse gases – by half by 2030. And end emissions altogether by 2050. Knowing this, what are we on track to do?

Just the opposite. According to a new United Nations-backed report, many countries – Russia, Saudi Arabia, the US and others – will increase coal, oil and gas production. So much so that by 2030 humans worldwide will burn more fossil fuels (and load our atmosphere with more greenhouse gas emissions) than at any time in our history.

Unless we turn things around, and soon, this could be our greatest failure: how a single intelligent species abandoned its better, wiser self and destroyed its own home.

Global warming pushes ocean temperatures off the charts: study

Oceans cover 70 percent of the planet and have kept the Earth’s surface livable by absorbing 90 percent of the excess heat produced by the carbon pollution from human activity since the dawn of the industrial age.

In 2023, the oceans soaked up around 9 to 15 zettajoules more than in 2022, according to the respective estimates from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Chinese Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP).

One zettajoule of energy is roughly equivalent to ten times the electricity generated worldwide in a year.

To Prevent Climate Chaos, We May Have to Forsake Economic Growth

With Earth’s average annual temperature speeding toward1.5 degrees Celsiusfaster than expected andglobal climate policy on a treadmill, an increasing number of researchers say it’s time to consider a “restorative pathway” to avoid the worst ecological and social outcomes of global warming.

In a recent studyin Environmental Research Letters, an international team of scientists wrote that reaching global goals could require focusing on ways to drive rapid changes in the way people live, move, work and eat; on making sure that global wealth is distributed more equitably; and on restoring and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems like forests, oceans, fields and rivers that are critical to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

‘Off the charts’: 2023 was hottest year ever recorded globally, US scientists confirm

Last year was the hottest ever reliably recorded globally by a blistering margin, US scientists have confirmed, leaving researchers struggling to account for the severity of the heat and what it portends for the unfolding climate crisis.

Last year was the world’s hottest in records that stretch back to 1850, according to analyses released concurrently by Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) on Friday, with a record high in ocean temperatures and a new low in Antarctic sea ice extent.

First results are in: 2023 temperatures were stunningly warm

The confused wiggles on the graph above have a simple message: Most years, even years with record-high temperatures, have some months that aren’t especially unusual. Month to month, temperatures dip and rise, with the record years mostly being a matter of having fewer, shallower dips.

As the graph shows, last year was not at all like that. The first few months of the year were unusually warm. And then, starting in June, temperatures rose to record heights and simply stayed there. Every month after June set a new record for high temperatures for that month. So it’s not surprising that 2023 will enter the record books as far and away the warmest year on record.

What Can I Do About the Climate Emergency?

Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility is a climate anthology published last year and edited by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua. They’ve just added a chapter to the book that’s available for free download that contains practical advice on how to involved in combatting the climate crisis: What Can I Do About the Climate Emergency?

The climate movement needs you. In this pamphlet, we outline some of the ways you can join it, and we share examples of how ordinary people have found their role, their power, their impactful projects, and their climate community. There’s a place for you in the crucial work of speeding the transition away from destruction and toward thriving. Figuring out where your skills are useful and what you can stick with is important. Identifying whom to work with and what to work on is crucial. Some of us are good at staying with a legislative issue for a season or a year or a decade. Some of us are good campaigners. Some like protests and are ready to blockade and risk arrest. Some of us are homebound but can make calls and write letters. It all matters.