Last Friday, November 17, the average air temperature on Earth for the first time rose above the critical threshold of +2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. In absolute numbers, the figure is +2.06°C, a representative of the Copernicus Climate Change Service reported on social networks.
Scientists take the average temperature in 1850–1900 as the pre-industrial level. They proceed from the fact that after this time the main cause of global climate change was human activity.
It is assumed that an increase in average annual temperatures of more than two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels could lead to droughts, rising sea levels, adversely affecting grain harvests, increasing the length of forest fire seasons, making hurricanes more destructive, and accelerating the melting of ice. That is why the threshold of +2°C is called critical.
According to scientists, on November 17 the temperature exceeded the 1991-2020 average by 1.17°C. As a result, this day became the hottest November 17th on record.
At the same time, experts note that so far the temperature has risen above the critical threshold only for a short time. The world is not yet in a situation where it is extremely difficult or even impossible to influence climate change. In addition, the Copernicus data is preliminary; experts will need several weeks to confirm it. But this “outburst,” according to scientists, should be taken as a symptom of the fact that the planet is getting hotter and hotter.
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