What a temporary rise above 1.5°C means for our climate targets.
Hi Hanna, as always a great piece. However, the text in the Paris agreement is often misquoted and I feel like this could be a nice addition to the article as well.
The official agreement is
"Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C".
So even when the 1.5 mark is passed, the agreement still holds, in my interpretation at least.
Great article, thank you!
It is so good to have a voice of reason in an ever growing crowd of self-interested alarmists, and college-dropouts masquerading as "experts".
Nice summary, Hannah!
"We should never miscommunicate or exaggerate on these issues to drive action."
Well said, Hannah. Good piece.
An amazing article as always!! I'm particularly struck by this passage "We should never miscommunicate or exaggerate on these issues to drive action. There is really no need: the truth is bad enough. And these misconceptions could actually lead to less action, not more." Which is something I always strive to do in my own work, but you have put it so elegantly. The truth is bad enough!! But more than the numbers themselves, I'm thankful for your conversation on urgency rather than panic - it helps me stay out of the doomsday headspace.
Thank you for correcting the narrative that too many bad reporters have foisted on the public. The sad thing is the fact that you needed to start out with so many disclaimers, but that's the world we live in.
Hopefully, not getting too off the subject, it reminds me of the "crisis" of Social Security (sorry, U.S. specific reference here). The trust fund was set up in the 80s since it was obvious the next generation would be too small to fund the baby boomers draw down. The fund was always meant to be depleted as the boomers died out, but that hasn't stopped headlines from screaming "Social Security going broke!" like headlines every chance they get.
The world needs many more Hannahs.
Objetiva y excelente información. Gracias por compartirla
Thanks for the clarity.
>We should never miscommunicate or exaggerate on these issues to drive action.
I honestly think that one of the very worst impacts of climate change has been all the unnecessary mental suffering inflicted by the climate doomsters.
Your article makes some good points. It's not about 1.5 per se. The most immediate problem is the higher local and regional temperatures that threaten agriculture. Droughts and higher temperatures threaten breadbaskets of the world, even now, before 1.5. Smaller yields mean more starvation in poor nations, food shortages in wealthy ones and significant inflation. One of the factors at the Mexican border is Central American farmers fleeing because agriculture is becoming unsustainable. Economic and societal breakdown doesn't depend on "threshold" numbers.
Hi Hannah! This was a great and very well needed summary, thank you. I did a deep dive on El Niño in my latest newsletter on Friday to provide more context on it too, in case you'd like to have a read :) https://currentclimate.substack.com/p/el-nino-is-back-and-plastic-pollution
I am glad to have discovered your writing as it is consistently reasoned. This was a refreshing and realistic discussion. Mostly about separating a broader model about climate (a lot of complexity and uncertainty) along with the separate well understood El Nina/Nina cycles. It would be alarmist to mix the two effects. However, it is INSTRUCTIVE to realize that the last twenty years have been the warmest on record quite INDEPENDENT of whether it was an El Nina OR El Nino. The are other positive feedback loops in place that are overwhelming the natural processes. This indicates the magnitude of the forces are BEYOND the natural swing effects. The fact that we might reach the 1.5C threshold, even if only for a brief overshoot brought on by El Nino only means we are now bumped up against what many consider a serious indication of a system in overshoot.
That said, my opinion is we are now approaching limits that may accompany unintended consequences independent of the natural cycles. Heat transfer (radiative, conduction and convection) for systems as complex as polar ice are proving to be notoriously difficult to predict. What is happening is increasing warning signs that melt rates and the feedback loop of much less reflectivity (albedo) as the open ocean becomes the sink of sunlight instead of being reflected by the ice may usher in all sorts of positive feedback. I am not a climate scientist but I do have background in modelling of multiphase flow, heat transfer and thermodynamics. What the experience taught me is the multiphase (ice meets water) is amongst the most challenging mediums to reliably model. While I am sure the models are GREAT and well-thought out, it seems only a couple of the assumptions, if they yield modest surprises, will be the impetus for managing a crisis.
Maybe at HOT GLOBE, I'm too close to the scientists behind the IPCC here at Scripps, but I thought the report was perfectly clear. Basically, el nino will push a spike, 66% chance of it happening in next few years. Period. The media wasn't so wrong. Headlines are headlines. Big deal. Deniers will deny 1) for $ reasons; we are in an energy war after all, Alternate Energy vs. Fossil Fuels and Nuclear; can't expect the Texans & the Saudis to acquiesce without a fight; too much $ in the ground 2) ideology, which is driven by #1. On the other hand, the climate movement esp. the "Chicken Little Grief Brigade," needs to get a grip. Time to quit the Cassandra act and put a shoulder--a financial and political shoulder--to the wheel and make change happen in order to keep us back from the brink--which, in fact, I think is happening. The steady stream of investment, new tech and new policy, is a river now, with the media headline chop just making things interesting on the surface--to paraphrase that Strategic Optimist, Kim Stanley Robinson. Thoughts?
What temperature would it be if humans weren't on Earth?
Link to WMO report is actually: https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=11629