Climate Change: Earth Heats Up at Unprecedented Rate

Humanity is no more than 4.5 years away from exceeding the 1.5 degree warming threshold

Il Professore Piers Forster

Global warming has reached unprecedented rates. The alarm was sounded by a distinguished group of 57 scientists from around the world who, in conjunction with World Environment Day on June 14, released an extensive new study updating data collected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to the study, time is indeed running out, and keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees is becoming increasingly difficult.

In 2023, global temperatures reached unprecedented levels. The experts wrote that they were caught off guard after analyzing objective data: according to the report, global warming is accelerating almost exponentially. The people responsible for global warming pose the same “danger” to the planet as “the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs,” warned UN Secretary General António Guterres, who said “this time the meteorite is us.”

“The situation is getting worse. If you look at that acceleration or individual peaks, I would therefore say temperatures are rising, and warming is intensifying, but exactly as they predicted,” said Piers Forster, head of a team of international experts and professor at the University of Leeds, during the launch of the report.

According to Forster, “92% of the warming recorded in 2023 was attributable to human activity,” related in part to the use of “fossil fuels.” In practice, if CO2 emissions continue at the current rate, humanity will have no more than 4.5 years “before exceeding the one and a half degree threshold set by the Paris Climate Agreement.”

“If there is further acceleration instead, that would probably be the worst-case scenario. What we are witnessing is already dramatic and has huge implications. We are in the center of a crisis,” told reporters Sonia Seneviratne, another expert at the Zurich Polytechnic Institute who focuses on climate extremes.