Climate: for the first time, the planet exceeds 1.5 degrees of warming for 12 consecutive months

For the first time, the planet has exceeded the mark of 1.5°C of warming compared to the pre-industrial era over 12 consecutive months, according to Copernicus data. A level never reached and a record month of January in terms of heat, which testifies according to the European observatory to “ 

the urgency of measures to be taken to limit climate change


Residents walk across the dried-up Yamuna River due to an extreme heatwave in New Delhi, May 2, 2022. © Manish Swarup / AP

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Heat records continue to fall. After a

level of heat never reached in 2023

, 2024 is starting just as badly: never has a January been so hot and for the first time, the planet has exceeded the 1.5°C mark over twelve consecutive months. warming compared to the pre-industrial era. Between February 2023 and January 2024, the global surface air temperature was 1.52°C higher than the period 1850-1900, according to data from the European Copernicus Observatory.


This does not mean that we have crossed the 1.5°C mark set in Paris

 ” in 2015 to try to stop global warming and its consequences, recalls Richard Betts, director of studies on climate impacts at the office. British National Meteorological Survey. For this to happen, this limit would need to be exceeded in a stable manner over several decades. “ 

Nevertheless, it is yet another reminder of the profound changes we have already made to our global climate and to which we must now adapt 

,” he added.

A “

stark warning

For Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change at Imperial College London, it is a “ 

stark warning of the urgency of action to limit climate change 

”. An opinion shared by Johan Rockström of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), who is alarmed to AFP by a “ 

very important and disastrous signal (...), a alert to tell humanity that we are approaching the 1.5 degree limit faster than expected

 .” The current climate has already warmed by around 1.2°C compared to 1850-1900. And at the current rate of emissions, the IPCC predicts that the threshold of 1.5°C has a one in two chance of being reached on average by the years 2030-2035.

Also readIs global warming accelerating?

With an average temperature of 13.14°C, January 2024 is the hottest January on record since measurements began, becoming the eighth month in a row for which the monthly heat record has been broken. This is 0.12°C more than the previous record of January 2020 and 0.70°C above the normals for the period 1991-2020. And compared to the pre-industrial era, it's 1,660°C warmer. The month was marked by a heat wave in South America, which recorded record temperatures and devastating fires in Colombia and Chile, with dozens of deaths in the Valparaiso region.

January #Temperature highlights from the #CopernicusClimate Change Service (#C3S).

Last month:

🌡 was the warmest January on record globally;

🌡 was 0.12°C above the previous warmest January in 2020.

For more information 👉

— Copernicus ECMWF (@CopernicusECMWF) February 8, 2024

The surface of the oceans is also overheating, with a new record in January of 20.97°C average temperature. This value is the second hottest for all months combined, less than 0.01°C from the previous record of August 2023 (20.98°C). “ 

A rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is the only way to stop the rise in global temperatures 

,” says Samantha Burgess, Deputy Head of Climate Change (C3S) at Copernicus.

(with agencies)

Read alsoClimate change: “there is public awareness” with increasingly hot years


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