Date posted: 09.05.24

A number of climate scientists now expect global temperatures to increase to 2.5c as a minimum, above pre-industrialised levels before the end of the century. The scientists from the IPCC (Panel on Climate Change) envisage at least a 2.5c increase in global temperatures. Even more concerning, almost 50% expect at least a 3C increase above pre-industrialised levels. Sadly, only 6% agreed that the 1.5C limit would be met.

The effects of climate change have already been evident in recent months. March this year represented the 10th consecutive monthly record in a warming phase, beating all previous records. Over the past 12 months, average global temperatures have been 1.58C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement, set in 2015, set a limit of 1.5C above pre-industrialised levels.

Last month (April 24) was the hottest April on record. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), every month since June 2023 has ranked as the world’s hottest on record, compared with the corresponding month in previous years. Across the world, extreme weather has been recorded in April. Scorching heatwaves have been recorded in Southeast Asia, where places like the UAE have suffered severe floods. The UAE usually has next to no rain, so this much rainfall causes terrible floods across the country.

What Effects Would 2.5C Increase Bring?

It’s not fully confirmed what an increase of 2.5C would bring. However, it will be marginally worse than a 2C increase, the effects of which are listed below.

Extreme Heat – 37% of the world’s population will experience extreme heat at least once every five years. At 1.5c it’s just 14%.

Sea-Ice-Free Arctic – It’s estimated the number of ice-free summers in the Arctic will be once every ten years at a 2c increase. This figure is expected to be once every 100 years at a 1.5c increase.

Rising Sea Levels – By the year 2100, with a 2c increase, sea levels are set to rise by 0.46 metres. At 1.5c they will be closer to 0.4 metes.

Fisheries – At a 2c increase, it’s expected that there will be a 3 million tonne reduction in fish available for food. This reduces to 1.5 million tonnes lost if temperature increases are kept to 1.5c.

Oceans Breaking Records:

It’s recently been reported that the words oceans have broken temperature records every single day for the past year. This has been down to planet-warming gases (such as CO2), and also El Niño. This name relates to the warming of the sea surface temperature, which occurs every few years and is usually concentrated in the central-east equatorial Pacific. When sea temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific increase 0.5c above the long-term average, an El Niño is declared. 

For many years, the oceans have helped to counter the effects of climate change as they absorb a lot of the CO2 we produce. They also absorb around 90% of the world’s excess heat. However, over the last 12 months, the seas have been struggling to cope. There is only so much heat the seas can absorb. If the seas can’t absorb the CO2 and heat, both will remain in the atmosphere – contributing to increasing temperatures.

What Can I Do?

There are a number of things you can do to lower your carbon footprint. As individuals, the changes may seem tiny and insignificant, but if everyone makes changes – together, we can make a big difference. There are simple changes, including:

1. Energy Saving Bulbs.  Save around £35-£40 a year with LED/Energy Saving Bulbs. Although they cost more to buy, they use less energy and last a great deal longer than regular bulbs.

2. Lower Your Thermostat Temperature. You can save between 2-4% on your heating for each degree you drop on your thermostat and thus lower your carbon footprint. An easy way to save here is to drop the temperature 1 degree at a time and keep doing this over several days until you arrive at a temperature that you find comfortable. It could easily save 10% or more off your heating costs.

3. Select Energy-Saving Appliances – Take the time to look for energy-saving appliances when the time comes to renew.   Efficiency labels score appliances from A+++ to G, the former being the most efficient. The more efficient an appliance, the cleaner it will be for the environment.

4. Wood Burning Stoves – If you have been reading our various posts and articles about stove efficiency, you will already be an expert in how to ensure the maximum efficiency of your stove.

5. Reduce Your Water Temperature –  Many households have their water far too hot, which is a waste.  A quick and easy tip here is to reduce the water temperature in small intervals until you reach a level you are happy with (i.e the lowest temperature, which is still comfortable to use).

Latest News