According to the latest report from Met Office, there is a fifty-fifty chance that the world surpasses the 1.5C warming limit that the Paris Agreement is trying to avoid. And this is likely to occur within the next 5 years. However, it may be temporary.
The world’s current goal is to see emissions peak by the end of the decade. Some nations are trying to do this earlier, but that means emissions will continue to rise until the end of 2030 before they start to decline.
Of course, this is another climate goal. Based on the world’s track record, there is a pretty good chance the world fails to peak out in 2030. There’s also a 93% chance that the average between 2022 and 2026 will be higher than the average from 2017 to 2021.
In any case, it’s going to be really warm over the next five years.
Global Warming Will Only Get Worse Until We Reach Net Zero
It’s important to understand that global warming will only get worse until the world achieves net-zero emissions.
This is because the greenhouse emissions that enter the atmosphere will continue to trap heat. Thus, the longer we continue to emit, the worse it will get, but I’m sure you know this already.
Currently, the world’s goal is to achieve net zero by 2050. Some nations plan to achieve it earlier, while others plan to do it later. And that’s a real problem, especially since the biggest emitter in the world, China, is one of those nations.
However, it doesn’t have to be permanent. At least if we can prevent the world from reaching certain thresholds, and the 1.5 warming limit is not it.
Why Will It Only Be Temporary?
Not many news outlets actually highlight the fact that climate change is not a one-way street. You can cool down the planet, to a certain extent, by reducing emissions and removing them from the atmosphere. And there are three pretty good reasons why no one mentions this.
Firstly, the technology to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to make significant changes to the temperature does not exist yet. Currently, we can only remove a small amount of carbon.
And it’s not even economically viable to do so. It will take some time for this to happen. Until that time, planting forests is our best bet.
Secondly, governments do not act unless they have to. That’s exactly why governments have done such a bad job at keeping climate promises. The more pressure put on them from voters, the more likely a government is to act.
Especially when it starts to affect a politician’s ability to raise funds.
Thus, it’s important to make climate change sound as urgent as possible. And time really is running out.
Finally, even though this is a temporary increase, eventually it could become an irreversible one. There is a point where it will be too late and 1.5C is really the stepping stone to get there.
It’s also after this temperature spike that the world will really feel the effects of climate change. This includes the scorching heat, higher sea levels that wash away our coastlines, and a severe decline in biodiversity.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.